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The Greyhound

Hounds hold off Colgate in Reitz Arena

Senior guard Dylon Cormier scored a game-high 21 points, and junior guard R.J. Williams dropped a career-high 15 points, as the Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball squad rallied past the Colgate Raiders, 67-60, Saturday night at Reitz Arena.
Cormier, the nation’s ninth-leading scorer entering Saturday’s game, scored 12 straight points for Loyola late in the second half to halt Colgate’s comeback bid. The senior added three assists and two steals.
The Greyhounds (9-10 overall, 4-4 Patriot League) got off to a sluggish start in front of their home crowd, falling behind 11-2 in the game’s first four minutes.
Colgate (7-12, 1-7) drained three of its seven total three-pointers in the opening four minutes to give the Raiders their largest lead of the contest at nine. A layup by senior forward Jordan Latham with 16:06 left in the first half snapped Colgate’s 8-0 run.
The momentum shifted halfway through the first half after a pair of three-point plays by Cormier cut the Raiders’ lead to 13-10. Cormier picked up a foul on a layup during the first play, and was fouled while attempting a jumper beyond the arc on the second play, before making all three foul shots.
Falling behind 18-13, the Greyhounds would go on an 11-0 run. Sophomore guard Eric Laster nailed a three-pointer to tie the game at 18 apiece with 8:30 remaining in the opening half. Laster finished the contest with five points.
A steal and layup by Williams with 7:44 left in the half gave the Greyhounds their first lead of the game, 20-18. Williams would finish the game with a team-high four steals and four assists, in addition to his career-high point total.
Even after a layup by Colgate’s Murphy Burnatowski snapped Loyola’s run, the Hounds refused to let up. Freshman forward Nick Gorski hit a jumper with 4:23 left in the half, and sophomore guard Tyler Hubbard drained a three-pointer with 2:17 remaining, giving Loyola a 29-22 lead.
The Greyhounds kept up the tempo entering the second half, highlighted by a thunderous dunk by Latham two minutes into the half. Latham then hit a jumper a minute later to extend Loyola’s lead to nine. The senior finished the contest with six points and four boards.
After a layup by sophomore guard Jarred Jones gave the Greyhounds their largest lead of the evening at 47-36, the Raiders would go on a run of their own.
Colgate shot their way to a 12-2 run, pulling within one point with eight minutes to go, at 49-48. Loyola’s only basket during that stretch was an alley-oop dunk by Laster off a Williams pass to the rim.
In danger of falling behind for the first time since the first half, the Greyhounds were able to stay one step ahead of the Raiders, with the help of Cormier’s 12 straight points.
Colgate had no answer for Cormier down the stretch, as the senior converted on four layups and a last-second jumper, as well as two more free throws.
Despite Cormier’s efforts, the Raiders kept the pressure on the Hounds, and cut the score to 61-58 after a Nathan Harries three-pointer with 1:23 remaining.
After a Williams layup extended Loyola’s lead, the Raiders again made it a three-point game on a layup by Ethan Jacobs with 40 seconds left.
Redshirt junior Denzel Brito was then fouled, and hit two clutch free throws to give the Hounds a 65-60 lead. After a missed layup by Colgate, Williams sealed the victory with two more free throws.
Cormier and Williams combined to shoot 13-for-13 from the charity stripe, while the team shot 16-for-18. The Raiders only toed the line 10 times, making seven of their free throws.
“We shot the ball a little better than we usually do,” Loyola head coach G.G. Smith said. “Being at home definitely helped us with our shooting.”
After being held to just nine points for the game’s first 34 minutes, Cormier broke through to finish one point shy of his season average of 22 points per game.
“Dylon just wills us to victory with his aggressive play,” Smith added. “He was able to get to the rim, and when he got fouled, he made his free throws.”
The win lifts Loyola’s record back to .500 in Patriot League play. The Greyhounds next travel to Worcester, Massachusetts, to face Holy Cross on Wednesday, January 29, at 7 p.m.

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Hounds hold off Colgate in Reitz Arena