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Loyola outlasts Colgate in triple overtime, 80-78

Special Contribution to So Much Sports Baltimore
By: James Fox

Franz Rassman scored a career-high 19 points in the victory over Colgate.

Franz Rassman scored a career-high 19 points in the victory over Colgate.

Loyola’s streak of overtime victories continued on Sunday afternoon, as the Greyhounds made a late comeback to knock off the Colgate Raiders, 80-78, in a triple-overtime thriller on Senior Day at Reitz Arena.

Down 65-58 with just 1:29 left in regulation, Loyola (11-16, 7-9 Patriot League) appeared on its way to yet another conference loss, and Colgate (13-16, 10-6) looked like it would remain just a game behind first-place Bucknell in the standings.

With 1:18 remaining, Loyola junior Franz Rassman made a layup to cut the deficit to 65-60, before junior Tyler Hubbard stole the ball from Colgate’s Ethan Jacobs on a trap with 1:10 left. Hubbard then hit a layup with 51 seconds remaining to make it a three-point game.

After Colgate’s Damon Sherman-Newsome missed the front end of a one-and-one with 35 seconds left, Loyola freshman Andre Walker made one of two free throws to make the score 65-63 with 24 seconds left.

The Greyhounds immediately fouled, and the Raiders’ free throw woes continued, as Luke Roh missed the front end of another one-and-one, and freshman Chancellor Barnard grabbed the rebound for Loyola.

Junior Eric Laster missed a jumper with eight seconds left, but Walker grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled with six seconds remaining. Walker struggled at the line on the day, making just eight of his 13 free throw attempts, but he was able to sink both to tie the game with six ticks left.

On the ensuing possession, Colgate drove down the court to try and win the game, but Roh missed the game-winning layup as time expired, sending the game into overtime.

The Greyhounds were dealt a blow early in the first overtime frame when Rassman fouled out of the game with 19 points, a career-high, along with five rebounds. Freshman Cam Gregory came up big in Rassman’s place, finishing the game with a team-high 11 rebounds.

With Loyola up 70-69, Walker toed the line with 18 seconds left in the first overtime with a chance to make it a three-point game, but he only made one free throw, allowing Colgate to tie the game once again on a couple of Sherman-Newsome free throws. The Hounds were unable to score on the next possession, and the first overtime ended with the score still knotted up.

Both teams shot sloppily throughout the second overtime, and the Greyhounds found themselves down 74-72 with just 11 seconds left, and the Raiders had the ball. But Austin Tillotson missed a jumper, and Laster snatched the rebound to set up one last possession for Loyola.

After a Loyola timeout, Walker drove into the paint for the clutch game-tying layup with just one second left, and the contest was headed to a third overtime.

Walker’s clutch heroics finally led to the go-ahead layup with seven seconds left in the game. Colgate missed what would’ve been the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, completing the wild victory for the Greyhounds.

Loyola is now 4-0 in overtime games this season and 7-0 in the two years under head coach G.G. Smith. The Greyhounds are a remarkable 16-1 in overtime games dating back to the 2004-05 season.

“After the 40 minutes, somehow we get more energy,” said Walker, who finished with a career-high 21 points to go with six rebounds and two steals. “The first 20 minutes, sometimes we come out sluggish, but in the extra time we always come out hard. Maybe if every game
started in overtime we’d [win every game].”

Laster finished the game with 16 points, seven rebounds and three blocks, and drained a trio of 3-pointers. Colgate’s Matt McMullen finished with 19 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.

The win moves the Greyhounds into a three-way tie with American and Navy for the sixth, seventh and eighth seeds in the Patriot League standings. The top six teams get a bye in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament, so Loyola will be looking to move up when it travels to Holy Cross on Wednesday.

“The league has been unbelievable this year,” Coach Smith said. “Anybody can beat anybody. We want to be playing well come tournament time. So in order to do that, we need to win these types of games.”

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