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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Men’s basketball advances in Patriot League Championships


Sweat drenched the court as the Loyola Greyhounds played a strong second half to lead them onto the next round of the Patriot League Championship against No. 2 Boston University. The Hounds took this opportunity away from the Lafayette Leopards with a 67-64 win.

Before the game, guard Andre Walker ’18 earned a First-Team spot in the Patriot League Conference postseason honors . Walker is the first men’s basketball player for the Hounds to achieve this award. Alongside Walker, forward Jarred Jones ’17 earned Second-Team recognition.

“[The team was] in the grind of the regular season and [the] starters built up minutes of preparing,” Loyola head coach G. G. Smith said. Even with three straight losses coming into this game, they didn’t give up.

The Greyhounds had a rough first half, shooting 16.7 percent three pointers and 39.3 percent field goals.

After Jones made the first bucket of the game, the Greyhounds missed their next three jumpers until forward Cam Gregory ’18 made a strong dunk to trail the Leopards 9-6. The Hounds missed three more shots until guard James Fives ’19 made a layup, making the score 12-8 in favor of the leopards. The Hounds benefited by Fives completing all four shots from the free-throw line.

Loyola however, suffered from weak passing and sloppy defense. Most of the Leopards points were scored by a wide open player with a defender nowhere in sight.

Jones nailed another field goal with 9:33 minutes left, which led him to 5/9 shooting with a team high of 10 points in the first half.

Walker, a reliable shooter for the Hounds, made one layup of seven attempts with 7:20 minutes standing in the first half, cutting the Hounds’ deficit to 22-16. Shots were exchanged until the end of the half when the Hounds finally stepped up their game.

Two of the Leopards, forward Paulius Zalys ’19 and guard Eric Stafford ’18, were impressively 4/4 and 2/2 from the field respectively. Guard Nick Lindner ’17 added five of his six attempted free throw points.

Loyola entered halftime down 32-27.

“We didn’t defend the three-point line well enough and they had some strong shooters out there,” Smith said of the first half.

The energy was high for the Hounds as they entered the second half. Gregory set the tone for the defense with a powerful block seconds into the half. Both the number of blocks and steals increased within the first nine minutes: Gregory came in with the teams first two blocks as Walker and guard Chuck Champion ’20 had three steals combined.

“We got them out of their shooting rhythm,” Smith said.

With 11:36 minutes remaining, the Hounds were where they stood in the first half, still with no 3-point shots. The Leopards led 46-40, but the score was tied four times before then.

Walker made the first three-pointer for Loyola with seven minutes to go in the game.

With 4:08 remaining, guard Andrew Kostecka ’20 nailed a shot behind the arch to put the Hounds in the lead 62-61.

Fives furthered the Hounds’ lead with his free throw shots, making the score 65-64. With under one minute to go, Walker slowed down the game to waste some time on the clock. The Leopards had the defensive rebound and failed to make their last 3-point shot of the game. A personal foul on Lafayette allowed Champion to make both free throws in for a three-point lead of 67-64 to win the game.

The Hounds improved their stats by shooting 48.3 percent from the field goal and 33.3 percent from three.

Gregory ended with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Jones was close with 21 points and 9 rebounds. He improved the offense by shooting 56 percent from the field.

According to Smith, Jones and Champion were key players in this game – players who stepped up for their team when they needed them.

The Hounds face Boston University away on March 2. “We have a quick turnaround and a good opportunity,” Smith said. “We don’t have a lot of time to prepare and they have a home field advantage so its going to be a tough one.”

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Men’s basketball advances in Patriot League Championships