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Loyola tops Canisius on senior day, 68-64

By: Pat Terwedo

Julius Brooks nailed every single shot he took Thursday Night as he scored 13 points to help lead Loyola past Canisius on senior night, 69-65.

Julius Brooks nailed every single shot he took Thursday Night as he scored 13 points to help lead Loyola past Canisius on senior night, 68-64.

Who better to exact revenge for a pummeling they received from the Canisius Golden Griffins a few weeks ago in Buffalo than the seniors just after they were honored during a senior ceremony at Reitz Arena? The Loyola Greyhounds came away with a 68-64 victory in Reitz Arena, led by Julius Brooks who went 5-for-5 from the field and 3-for-3 from the charity stripe for 13 points and six rebounds while Robert Olson hit four three’s in a game-high 18-point effort with five steals as well.

“Julius has done what I asked him to do this year – grow up,” said Loyola Head Coach Jimmy Patsos, eluding to how he went from little more than a deep reserve as a freshman to one of the team’s top players his senior year. “I’m really bummed he’s leaving. I wish we had him for one more year.”

Loyola and Canisius found themselves deadlocked for most of the first half with nine lead changes and eight ties but a 7-1 run to end the opening stanza sent the Greyhounds into the break with a 37-32 lead. Early in the game Canisius used their size to their advantage as they out-rebounded the Hounds 17-13 in the first half while Chris Manhertz put together a great first half that ended up resulting in a 14-points, 10-rebound double-double.

But the Greyhounds would never relinquish the lead in the second half and outrebounded Canisius 14-11 after the break while holding off multiple rallies. After leading by as many as ten points midway through the second half Canisius was able to chip the Greyhound lead down to three only four minutes later. But Loyola responded with a three by Olson and two free throws by Brooks to go back up by eight points.

The Griffs started to pick some momentum back up after Billy Baron, who scored 14 points for Canisius, hit two free throws and Jordan Heath, who led they with 15 points, got a layup to make it a four-point game but Olson hit another big three go get Loyola back up by seven.

Still, the fight was not over as Baron hit a three-pointer with 48 seconds left on the clock to get within two points of the Greyhounds but Loyola was able to hold them off and Anthony Winbush, another senior who scored seven points with five rebounds, hit two free throws to make it a four-point game, clinching the victory.

Junior Dylon Cormier scored 17 points and had three steals.

With the win Loyola breaks a three-way tie for second place in the MAAC and puts them within half a game of conference-leading Niagara as they search for their first regular season conference title in program history.

The Seniors will have one final game at home, however, when they take on Manhattan on March 3 after a three-game road trip that features Siena and Iona in conference play and Tennessee State as part of the ESPNU BracketBusters Challenge.

“When they (the seniors) came here a long time ago we weren’t that good,” Patsos said. “They knew Loyola was a great place but it wasn’t a very good basketball team. I never forgot that they choose here.”

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