Navy Opens Patriot League Play at Loyola on Thursday
Jan. 1, 2014
Navy (5-6, 0-0 PL) at Loyola (5-6, 0-0 PL)
Thursday, January 2, 2014 | 7:30 PM (ET)
Baltimore, Md. | Reitz Arena (2,100)
Navy Game Notes | Loyola Game Notes
Patriot League Digital Network Video | Live Statistics
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Navy will open Patriot League play against conference newcomer Loyola on Thursday evening at Reitz Arena at 7:30 PM. Both Navy and Loyola enter conference play with 5-6 records. Navy has dropped three straight games while Loyola has dropped four in a row. Thursday's game will feature free live streaming video on the Patriot League Digital Network and navysports.com. Additionally, Pete Medhurst (play-by-play) and Michael Heary (analyst) will call the game on WNAV 1430 AM / 99.9 FM in Annapolis and on wnav.com.
Navy is coming off a 63-48 defeat at UMBC on Monday.
The Mids closed non-conference play at 5-6 overall and just 1-6 on the road.
Navy is undefeated at home (4-0), but played only four of its 11 non-conference games at Alumni Hall this season.
Navy has had a halftime lead in each of its last three games (Bryant, Northern Kentucky, UMBC), but lost all three games after falling behind in the second half.
Junior guard Brandon Venturini scored 15 points against UMBC after tallying 20 points at Northern Kentucky.
Freshman guard Zach Fong scored 15 points and hit five three pointers at UMBC.
Fong ranks second in the Patriot League in three-point field goal percentage (.500; 19-of-38).
Fong's 19 three pointers lead the team.
Sophomore center Will Kelly ranks second in the Patriot League in blocked shots per game (1.7) and is fifth in rebounding (6.4).
Junior point guard Earl McLaurin started his first career game at UMBC in place of a suspended Tilman Dunbar.
McLaurin registered career highs in minutes (33), assists (7), rebounds (5) and steals (4), while committing just one turnover.
Navy ranks first in the Patriot League in rebounding margin (+1.8) while Loyola is 10th at -9.5.
Navy will be playing its second of three games this week and its second of four games in a nine-day span.
Freshman Zach Fong set a Navy freshman record with seven three pointers made against Bryant.
Navy is 4-0 at home this season, which is the best start to its home schedule since 2008-09 when it won its first seven home games and posted a 12-3 home record.
Navy has made at least one three-pointer in 316 consecutive games.
Navy has an all-time record of 1,311-970 (.575).
Loyola enters the game at 5-6 and on a four-game losing streak.
Loyola most recently lost at Miami (Fla.), 71-48.
The Greyhounds started the season at 4-0 before finishing 1-6 over their last seven games.
Senior guard Dylon Cormier leads the Patriot League in scoring (22.9 ppg) while ranking sixth in the league in rebounding (6.1 rpg).
Cormier ranks seventh in the NCAA in scoring. He has over 1,400 career points and is ranked 10th in Loyola school history in scoring.
Cormier is a two-time Patriot League Player of the Week.
Sophomore guard Jarred Jones is second on the team with 9.8 points per game and sophomore guard Eric Laster averages 9.3 points.
Junior point guard R.J. Williams averages 7.2 points and a team-best 3.8 assists per game.
Loyola leads the Patriot League in steals per game (8.5).
Loyola ranks last in the Patriot League in scoring defense, allowing 77.3 points per game.
Series History vs. Loyola
Navy and Loyola are meeting for the 25th in series history.
Navy leads the all-time series, 20-4.
Navy has won three straight games against Loyola, with the last being a 73-61 win on Nov. 10, 2006 in the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic at St. John's in Queens, N.Y.
The series began during the 1909-10 season. Navy won the first meeting, 36-10.
Navy owns a winning percentage of .833 against Loyola, which is Navy's best winning percentage against any of the nine other current Patriot League members.
Navy will host Lafayette on Sunday at 2:00 PM in its Patriot League home opener.
Navy leads the all-time series against Lafayette, 41-30, but the Leopards have swept the season series in each of the last two years.
Lafayette tied for second in the Patriot League last season at 10-4 and advanced to the league championship game.
Navy will have a quick turnaround after the Lafayette game on Sunday as the Mids will travel to Boston on Monday for Tuesday night's contest at Boston University.
Navy's Patriot League History
Navy is set to begin its 23rd season in the Patriot League after joining for the 1991-92 season.
Navy is 138-158 (.466) all-time in the Patriot League.
Navy has won five Patriot League Regular Season Championships with its last coming in 2000.
Navy has won three Patriot League Tournament Championships with its last coming in 1998.
Navy is 9-13 all-time in Patriot League openers and 3-7 in league openers on the road.
Navy has lost its last two Patriot League openers.
Fong Among Conference Leaders in Three-Point FG Pct.
Freshman guard Zach Fong ranks second in the Patriot League in three-point field goal percentage with his .500 clip.
Colgate's Austin Tillotson leads the league with a .621 clip (18-of-29).
Fong is 19-of-38 on the season and his 19 three pointers made are a team high.
Fong set a Navy freshman record with seven three pointers made at Bryant.
Fong also made five three pointers at UMBC on Dec. 30.
Over the past four games, Fong is averaging 3.8 made three pointers per game.
Fong is currently on pace to set a Navy freshman season record for highest three-point field goal percentage.