The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Loyola falls to Navy, sacrifices second place rank in Patriot League


In a much anticipated match-up with both teams tied for second place in the Patriot League, Loyola men’s basketball hosted the Navy Midshipmen Wednesday night, Feb 10. at Reitz Arena. Navy definitely handed Loyola the loss, defeating the Hounds with a final score of 71-51.

Prior to the match, both teams stood at 7-5 in the Patriot League, with Navy at 16-9 overall, overshadowing Loyola at 8-15. Within the past week, both teams defeated Army West Point on the road. Although Navy currently leads all Patriot League teams with ten road wins, the Midshipmen lost four out of their last five contests overall. Loyola won two out of their three games last week and had only lost one of their previous five contests, falling to Lehigh on the road last week.

The game was off to a very quick start, with Loyola dragging far behind Navy. Just five minutes into the contest, Navy established an early crucial seven-point lead, allowing the Midshipmen to control the Greyhounds for the remainder of the match.

With eleven minutes left in the first half, Loyola inched towards closing the score gap when they reached a mere three points away from the Midshipmen at 14-11, but Navy only continued to increase the score as the Hounds remained stagnant.

By halftime, Navy was up by 16, with their senior point guard Tilman Dunbar leading the game with eleven points. He would go on to finish with a game-high of 20. Loyola head coach G.G. Smith respects Dunbar, recognizing him as “one of the best point guards in our league.”

“It’s the best I’ve seen him shoot the balls since I’ve been head coach in this league,” Smith admitted about Dunbar, “He had a career night, I thought.”

Five minutes into the second half, Navy dug Loyola’s grave even deeper. The Midshipmen held the Hounds at a consistent twenty-point lead for the remainder of the game, finally ending the contest at 71-51.

Loyola’s regular standouts Andre Walker and Jarred Jones held the team together Wednesday night, both scoring eight points each. Walker banked two 3-pointers and Jones sunk four out of his five free throws. Walker’s quick body movement and Jones’ shot precision make both of them natural leaders among the Greyhounds.

For a team that rarely showcases their younger talent, a surprisingly impressive performance came out Loyola freshman James Fives. Fives started the second half, banking two free throws with two minutes left in the contest.

The two teams are familiar with each other, having previously met in Annapolis back in January, when Loyola first fell to the Midshipmen 60-52. “We knew they played a great match-up zone,” Smith recalled. “We knew they gave us some trouble with it last time. We just weren’t aggressive against them.”

“I give them [Navy] a lot of credit. They set the tone early, they dictated the tempo,” Coach Smith admitted about their opponent. “We just didn’t have a match for them. We tried to man, we tried the post, we tried to zone them, we just didn’t have any answer. I credit Coach DeChillis, those guys coming in here and setting the tone early. We just never really could bounce back.”

Coach Smith knew right off the bat that Loyola’s score deficit was not going to improve, especially when his team was down 11-2 and their teamwork began to crumble. “That was the most selfish we’ve played since I’ve been here as a head coach,” Smith said regarding his team’s poor performance. “We were selfish and we played soft, which we can’t do to a team like Navy.”

Despite his disappointment, Smith truly did appreciate his players’ concern and remorse for the loss. “This time of year it’s inexcusable. But our guys owned it after the game, they apologized, they owned it. The only thing we can do is prepare for BU on Saturday.”

Standing below .500 overall even before the contest, Loyola was lucky to be tied for second place in the Patriot League, but this loss to Navy dropped them down to fifth where they are currently tied with Colgate.

Coming off of this loss, Loyola will host Boston University at Reitz Arena this Saturday at 1 p.m. Earlier this season, the Greyhounds fell to the Terriers 87-84 in overtime. After Saturday’s match, Loyola will spend two games on the road and will return to Reitz on February 24 to welcome Holy Cross, who they defeated 71-54 in Massachusetts back in January.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Greyhound Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Loyola falls to Navy, sacrifices second place rank in Patriot League