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The Greyhound

Men’s basketball upsets American, falls to Lehigh

Life without injured scoring-leader Dylon Cormier has begun, and the Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball squad received mixed results in its first two games without the senior guard.
The Greyhounds pulled off a remarkable upset of first-place American University, 62-58, at Reitz Arena on Wednesday, before falling to Lehigh, 66-52, on the road Saturday afternoon.
Prior to Wednesday night’s game, American was undefeated in Patriot League play, had won 11 straight games, and even received a vote in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.
American’s accomplishments didn’t seem to faze the short-handed Greyhounds, who came to play from start to finish, led by a game-high and career-high 20 points from sophomore guard Tyler Hubbard.
The Greyhounds wasted no time putting the pressure on American, jumping out to a 5-0 lead after a foul on a layup by sophomore forward Franz Rassman led to a three-point play. Rassman would score 11 points, making all seven of his free throw attempts.
After a subsequent three-point basket by Jesse Reed of American, Hubbard nailed the first of his six three-pointers to give the Hounds an 8-3 lead. Hubbard would go on to shoot an amazing six-of-seven from beyond the arc.
Although the Greyhounds never trailed for the game’s first 18 minutes, American kept the pressure on Loyola throughout the first half, never allowing the Hounds to extend their lead beyond five points.
American finally took its first lead of the game on a Marko Vasic three-pointer with 2:07 left in the first half, but the lead wouldn’t last, as Hubbard drained another three to send the Greyhounds into the half with a 27-25 lead.
The Hounds got off to a sluggish start in the second half, spotting American 10 points to fall behind by eight, 35-27, with 16:52 remaining.
Loyola failed to crack the scoreboard until another Hubbard three-pointer cut American’s lead to five with 15:12 left in the game.
After American took a 37-30 lead with 14 minutes remaining, Loyola finally returned to its first-half form to even the score at 39-apiece with 11:21 left. Senior forward Jordan Latham scored six points in that two-minute span to help tie the game. Latham would finish the contest with 10 points, shooting four-of-six from the field.
Loyola and American continued to trade three-point baskets throughout the second half. American drained 11 three-pointers compared to Loyola’s seven, but the Hounds’ 70-percent mark from beyond the arc made the difference.
With the Greyhounds clinging to a 52-49 lead with a minute-and-a-half remaining, junior guard R.J. Williams came up with a critical steal and a layup, extending Loyola’s lead to 54-49. Williams finished with seven points, four assists, four rebounds and three steals.
American gave Loyola everything they could handle in the game’s final minute, but the Greyhounds responded by making their free throws.
After two Rassman free throws gave the Hounds a five-point lead with 40 seconds left, a John Schoof three-pointer cut Loyola’s lead to 58-56 with 29 seconds remaining. The fouling game continued, and Hubbard hit two more free throws to make the score 60-56.
American had one last glimmer of hope after a layup cut the score to 60-58 with five seconds left, but redshirt junior Denzel Brito iced the game with two free throws of his own to give the Greyhounds the 62-58 upset victory.
Loyola’s free throw shooting allowed them to overcome American’s numerous three-pointers, as the Hounds shot 17-of-22 (77.3-percent) from the charity stripe. American only toed the line seven times during the contest.
It was a much different story for the Greyhounds Saturday afternoon at Lehigh against the Mountain Hawks. Both teams struggled out of the gate, as Loyola was behind 5-0 after three minutes.
A Hubbard three-pointer put the Greyhounds on the board with 16:39 left before halftime, but this wouldn’t be the three-point show Loyola put on against American. The Hounds only shot three-for-15 from beyond the arc against Lehigh, after draining seven of 10 against American.
Loyola never held a lead against Lehigh, and after a layup by freshman forward Nick Gorski cut the lead to 17-16 with 5:39 left in the first half, the Hounds never even pulled within one.
The Hounds stuck around though, as Lehigh’s final victory margin of 14 points was the largest lead they ever built. Loyola shot an acceptable 11-for-16 from the free-throw line, but the Mountain Hawks made the difference by shooting 26-for-30 from the line.
Sophomore guard Eric Laster led the way for Loyola with 17 points and four rebounds, while Latham scored 13 points (5-9 FG) and grabbed three rebounds.
The Greyhounds (10-13, 5-7 Patriot League) next face Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

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Men’s basketball upsets American, falls to Lehigh