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Hounds top Catholic with strong second half

The Loyola Greyhounds held a five-point lead with just under eight minutes to play before they went on a 15-4 run to pad their lead with 3:12 left in the game, effectively putting the game away against the visiting Catholic University of America Cardinals on Wednesday night.
During the run, senior guard Dylon Cormier scored seven of his game-high 23 points, and the Hounds used their size inside to dominate the end of the game, defeating Catholic, 87-75, at Reitz Arena in front of an announced 601.
“We decided to just pound the ball inside,” said Cormier, who was 9-for-21 on field goals. “We just decided to stop taking threes, just be a bigger and stronger team and just go inside and finish. I think we did a good job doing that.”
Sophomore forward Franz Rassman complimented Cormier’s performance, chipping in with four points and providing size down low for the Hounds during the key run in the second half. He was a factor throughout the game, scoring 14 points and grabbing four rebounds.
“We had a size advantage,” said the 6-foot-9 forward. “We just tried to pound it in and get low position,” Rassman said.
Senior Jordan Latham, another 6-9 forward for Loyola, scored 10 points and made his presence inside known, dunking three times in the first half.
After the Hounds experienced a rough loss at West Virginia, 96-47, on Monday night, they survived a few scares against Catholic (3-2), a member of the Division III Landmark Conference.
The Greyhounds (5-2), a Division I team in the Patriot League, found themselves tied with the Cardinals, 39-39 at the half.
“It’s never good,” Cormier said of heading back to the locker room tied.
Loyola responded right away in the second half, pulling ahead 60-48 with 12:04 left in the game.
Catholic, though, did not go down easily.
The Cardinals brought the deficit to five, before the Hounds began working the ball inside, and used their pivotal late-game surge to avoid what would have been an upset loss at home, had Loyola not held off the Cardinals.
“Catholic was a good team,” Loyola coach G.G. Smith said. “They’re a great Division III team. …  I wasn’t shocked we were tied at the halftime, 39-39.”
The Cardinals never led in the second half, but after being down by 10 twice during the first half, they took the lead, 36-35, with 1:54 left in the first after Loyola’s Tyler Hubbard fouled Catholic’s Bryson Fonville.
Fonville, who led Catholic with 19 points, went to the line for a double bonus and converted both his shots, capping a 7-0 run by the Cardinals.
It was Catholic’s first lead since they led 5-3 early on.
Coming off the bench for the Hounds, sophomore Jarred Jones provided a spark on offense in limited minutes. The Baltimore native scored 13 points in 20 minutes, converting on 5 of 9 field goals, and going 3-for-3 from the free throw line.
Almost six minutes into the second half, Jones stole the ball around half court and rushed down the other end on a breakaway, finishing off with a left-handed dunk. His dunk put the Hounds up 55-45.
“He does those intangibles that you want in a player coming off the bench,” Smith said.
For Loyola, this victory might be what they needed to get back on track.
“A win’s a win, and we’re going to carry this moment into playing the Mounton Saturday,” Rassman said.

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Hounds top Catholic with strong second half