Courtesy of LoyolaGreyhounds.com
WASHINGTON, D.C. – American University led by as many as 19 early in the second half, a lead Loyola University Maryland cut to seven on multiple occasions, but the Eagles held on for a 76-65 Patriot League victory on Thursday night at Bender Arena.
American shot 69.6 percent from the field in the first half and then scored 12 of the second half’s first 14 points to lead 51-32 after a Sa’eed Nelson three with 15:01 left in regulation.
Loyola chopped its deficit to seven five times with under 10 minutes to play, but the Greyhounds could not draw closer.
Andre Walker hit a three with 8:22 to play, pulling Loyola within 60-53, but two Sam Iorio free throws 21 seconds later pushed the American lead back to nine. Isaiah Hart then converted a layup in the paint at 6:45, making the deficit seven once again, but James Washington knocked down a three from the right corner at 5:21, pushing the Eagles back in front by 10.
Cam Gregory, who led Loyola with 19 points and nine rebounds, scored on a layup at 5:05 and made one of two at the free-throw line 32 seconds later to make it 65-58 Eagles, but with the shot-clock expiring on their ensuing possession, Marvin Bragg hit a three to push the lead back to 10.
Hart scored again with 1:43 left, getting Loyola within seven, 68-61, and despite a missed layup on the American end, the Greyhounds misfired on their offensive end.
Iorio and Nelson tied for game-high honors with 20 points each, and Bragg scored 11. Iorio had a double-double with 11 rebounds, and Larry Motuzis grabbed 10 for the Eagles.
Walker added 16 points, six rebounds and four steals for Loyola, while Andrew Kostecka scored 13 points off the bench to go with six boards, three assists and three steals.
Loyola returns to Reitz Arena on Sunday, January 14, for a 2 p.m. contest against Lafayette College.