Mids Drop Patriot League Opener in Overtime at Loyola
Jan. 2, 2014
BALTIMORE, Md. - Loyola (6-6, 1-0 PL) rallied from down 13 points with five minutes to play in regulation and eventually pulled out a 63-57 overtime win over visiting Navy (5-7, 0-1 PL) on Thursday at Reitz Arena. The game was Loyola's inaugural Patriot League contest.
Navy led 47-34 after senior Thurgood Wynn hit a three pointer to score his eighth straight point in an 8-0 Navy run, but Loyola reeled off an 18-4 run to close the half and force overtime with the game knotted at 52-52. Navy had led 52-48 with under a minute to play, but gave up a jumper to Denzel Brito and two free throws to Jarred Jones following a controversial foul with 11 seconds remaining in regulation on an inbounds play.
Junior guard Brandon Venturini scored the first basket of overtime but Loyola got six straight points from guard Dylon Cormier. Brito then hit another big shot, this time a three pointer with 39 seconds left to put the Greyhounds up five at 61-56. The Mids could not answer back and ended up missing their last seven field goals in the extra period.
"We didn't go out and take the game," said Wynn. "That's something that we've emphasized all year. We can't play to lose, we have to play to win. That's facing pressure and that's attacking. That's something we have to do, especially in close games, because every Patriot League game is going to be like this."
The Mids got off to a great start to the game with a very strong defensive performance. Navy held Loyola without a point for a span of 10:10 while going on a 14-0 run. Navy's defense also held the Greyhounds without a field goal for a span of over 18 minutes that included both halves. Loyola did make seven free throws during the 18-minute stretch but Navy was able to build an 11-point lead.
The 14-0 run included two three pointers by freshman guard Zach Fong and four points from Wynn. At one point during the run, senior James Loupos drew offensive charges on back-to-back possessions and had a total of four on the night.
Loupos' inside move to score put Navy up 24-12 late in the first half, but Cormier hit four straight free throws to cut Navy's halftime lead to 24-16.
Loyola made a run in the second half and took the lead at 31-30 after a three pointer by Tyler Hubbard. Venturini then gave the lead right back to Navy by going on a 7-0 run all by himself with layup plus a free throw after being fouled and two more layups to precede Wynn's outburst.
Navy was plagued by turnovers all night against Loyola's pressure defense, committing a season-high 23 and Loyola scored 26 points off turnovers, which is also a season-high allowed for Navy.
"The turnovers killed us," said head coach Ed DeChellis. "Against this kind of pressure, you have to be strong with the ball. We turned the ball over at the half court line and they go in for layups. You just can't let teams score easy like that."
Cormier scored a game-high 20 points and was 12-of-12 from the free-throw line. Jones was Loyola's next highest-scorer with nine.
Wynn scored a team-high 15 points and Navy's only other senior, Loupos, had seven points and five rebounds while making his first start of the season.
Venturini had 11 points and junior forward Worth Smith had six points, eight rebounds and two steals but fouled out after playing 27 minutes.
Navy outrebounded Loyola by 13 (39-26) and got 27 points off its bench.
Navy has now led at halftime but lost the game in four straight contests, all of which were on the road.
The Mids will host Lafayette (4-8, 0-1 PL) in its conference home opener on Sunday at 2:00 PM in Alumni Hall.