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Huge comeback gives Loyola CIT victory

By: Pat Terwedo

Dylon Cormier's 16 points help lead Loyola to their first ever CIT victory, beating future Patriot League foe Boston U, 70-63.

Dylon Cormier’s 16 points help lead Loyola to their first ever CIT victory, beating future Patriot League foe Boston U, 70-63.

In the early minutes of Loyola’s first ever post-season home game head coach Jimmy Patsos looked oddly calm as his Greyhounds were being worked by the Boston University Terriers. The first play, in fact, saw forward Erik Etherly, arguably Loyola’s best player, get stripped by Boston’s Maurice Watson Jr. who cruised to the other end of the court and dished to Thomas Malik for the easy layup. Boston wouldn’t surrender the lead until just less than six minutes remaining in the second half, when Anthony Winbush hit a spot-up three to give Loyola a one point lead.

The Hounds used hot shooting from Dylon Cormier and Robert Olson to control the game down the stretch and come away with a 70-63 victory. While Etherly had a near double-double with eight points and nine boards.

“A kid from Baltimore (Cormier), a kid from Georgetown Prep (Olson) and a kid from Northern Virginia (Etherly); DC and Baltimore kids they’re different, they don’t like to lose,” Loyola head coach Jimmy Patsos said as he pressed back tears. “I’m really lucky that I get to coach these guys, sometimes I get really frustrated and they won’t let me go, they won’t let me quit…because I was ready, I wasn’t sure, I wasn’t sure we had it in us.”

In the opening period Boston forced 12 turnovers and used their speed and athleticism to burn the Hounds in transition. Terriers freshman guard Watson Jr. scored 12 points and notched six assists, frustrating the Hounds defense all night long. Dom Morris proved to be a mismatch for everyone on the court as he muscled his way to a game high 17 points. Boston pushed its lead to as many as 13 in the first half and kept the Greyhounds off balanced with its 2-3 zone defense.

“We couldn’t have played any worse,” Patsos said.

In the waning minutes of the first half Loyola guard Bobby Olson found his stroke and helped the Hounds pull within six points at the break, he finished the game with 16.

“We’ve struggled with zone all season long, I think that’s why every team plays us zone even though they’re a man team,” Erik Etherly said. “BU has played man the entire season, came out the first possession of the game they were in a two-three zone, obviously its giving us a little bit of trouble but typically by the end of the game we start to figure it out.”

At halftime Patsos simply told his players if you lose your done, its over, Cormier said. “He said we got a day off either way,” reiterated Etherly.

Despite Loyola taking momentum into the locker room at halftime, Boston opened the second period firing on all cylinders; ballooning their lead to 15 points. Loyola slowly clawed back, relying heavily on its outside shooting. Dylon Cormier, scoreless in the first half, exploded for 16 points in the second half; scoring his first points with 10:58 remaining in the game. Etherly and Cormier fought double teams all game and struggled to find space on the offensive end.

“Dylon just wouldn’t let us quit, Dylon never let’s me quit, sometimes I wanna quit and Dylon won’t let me,” Patsos said.

Etherly finished the game with eight points and nine rebounds. Despite shooting their way back into the game Loyola’s defensive struggles continued throughout the night, allowing the Terriers to shoot 44% for the game, 48% in the second half alone. After pulling ahead by six with just under a minute to play the Hounds were able to ice the game at the free-throw line, hitting seven of eight attempts down the stretch. A last second three-pointer by Boston’s DJ Irving was too little to late for the Terriers.

This victory marked the first-ever postseason win for the Greyhounds who will host a second round game against a to-be-determined opponent this Sunday.

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