Loyola Wins Seventh Straight, 65-55 over GW
By Chris McManes, MikeLonergan.com
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
WASHINGTON – It’s easy to see why Loyola University Maryland is off to its best Division I start. The Greyhounds led almost the entire game and hit big baskets whenever needed to improve to 7-1 with a 65-55 victory over George Washington at the Charles E. Smith Center on Wednesday night.
Dylon Cormier led Loyola with a career-high 26 points and Erik Etherly added 12 points and a career-high-tying 15 rebounds. His prowess on the boards helped the Greyhounds win the rebounding battle, 42-29.
Ex-Maryland Coach Gary Williams witnessed two of his former assistants – GW’s Mike Lonergan and Loyola’s Jimmy Patsos – battle it out. Afterwards, all Lonergan could do was smile, shake his former Catholic University teammate's hand and say “good job.”
David Pellom scored a career-high 19 points on 8 of 9 shooting and collected six rebounds for the Colonials. Lasan Kromah scored 11 points on 4 of 13 shooting and also grabbed six boards. Tony Taylor was held to six points and added six assists and three steals.
The Greyhounds, who got nine rebounds from Shane Walker, won their seventh straight. The game was televised on MASN.
“We had a great all-around team effort," Patsos said in a news release. “Different guys hit some big shots, and we rebounded well. We enjoy playing on TV, and the guys are proud to represent the school on their chests.”
Loyola took a 15-point lead early in the second half before GW (4-4) pulled back to within 10. Cormier hit a triple from the top of the key and later made an off-balance layup in transition to end a 10-0 run and increase the Greyhound lead to 20, 49-29, with 13:36 remaining.
The Colonials responded with a 9-0 run. Etherly ended it with a putback – on his second try – and Loyola led by 13 at the 8:06 mark. Taylor’s steal and assist just before falling out of bounds at halfcourt resulted in a Pellom slam dunk to make it 52-44. Taylor fouled out a short time later when he fouled Cormier on a layup. The sophomore guard failed to complete the 3-point play after the final media timeout, but a Robert Olson 3-pointer gave the Greyhounds a 59-46 lead with 2:35 left.
“Hopefully we’re going to do a better job defensively as a team,” Lonergan said. “We are giving up way too many open 3s to the other team. And truthfully, I think a lot of that is just defensive focus and effort.”
Loyola broke to an 11-4 lead. The Colonials answered with a 12-4 run to assume a 16-15 advantage. Pellom scored six points during the flurry, including a punctuating fastbreak layup. Etherly ended the Greyhounds’ five-minute scoreless stretch when he hit a follow shot to put Loyola back on top, 17-16 with 7:32 to go in the half. After a Kromah 3-pointer gave GW a two-point lead, the Greyhounds scored 17 straight points to go up, 34-19. Justin Drummond scored seven of his eight points during the blitz and Cormier six.
Kromah hit a trey from the left corner just before time expired as the Colonials pared the deficit to 34-24 at halftime. Loyola held a 21-9 advantage on the boards.
GW’s Nemanja Mikic made just 1 of 6 3-pointers and finished with five points.
Cormier, who succeeded on 10 of 13 free throws, also totaled four assists and a career-high nine rebounds. He was 2-for-3 from 3-point land and his team was 6 of 11.
The Colonials, who have lost three straight, travel to play at No. 3 Syracuse on Saturday.
Taylor was honored before the game for scoring his 1,000th career point against Detroit on Nov. 21.