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Hounds have way against Mason, advance in CBI

Cam Gregory has 16 points on 8-for-12 shooting with eight rebounds against George Mason.

In the first round of the College Basketball Invitational, the Loyola Greyhounds had one of their best performances and biggest wins of their season. The Greyhounds were in Fairfax, Virginia taking on the 20-win George Mason Patriots on Wednesday night and were up to the big challenge of a national postseason appearance. Loyola got out to a strong start and built a solid lead in the first half and never looked back. They just continued to put it on the Patriots to earn a 73-58 victory and will advance to the quarterfinals of the CBI Presented by FIVE FOUR on Monday.

A quartet of Greyhounds reached double-digits in scoring in the game with a fifth player just one point away. Cam Gregory led the effort with 16 points on 8-for-12 shooting to go with eight rebounds while senior Jarred Jones and sophomore guard James Fives both had 14 points. Jones also had seven rebounds. Freshman Chuck Champion had 11 points in the game.

Loyola shot an impressive 46.8-percent from the floor, but more impressive than their offensive performance was their defense.

George Mason averaged 74.6 points per game heading into the game and made 45.2-percent of their shots over the course of the season. They also were the best rebounding team in the Atlantic 10. The 58 points George Mason were held to was the third fewest the Patriots have been held to this year. They made only 33.3-percent of their attempts, including a 29.4-percent effort from 3-point range, and were out-rebounded 43-33.

The Patriots’ leading scorer, Marquise Moore, entered the night averaging 17.4 points per game, but was shut down and held to only one point against the Greyhounds.

George Mason worked out to a 10-4 lead just over five minutes into the game, but the Greyhounds responded with a 13-point run to gain a 17-10 lead. They never trailed after that.

Jaire Grayer ended the Greyhound run with a fast-break layup off a steal, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Champion and Andre Walker, who didn’t start but ended up with nine points, put Loyola ahead 23-12 with 6:03 remaining in the first half. The Patriots got back within nine points, but the Greyhounds continued to make shots in response and took as much as a 13-point lead two different times in the first half. They led 31-20 at the break.

Loyola’s offense was even better in the second half. Loyola upped their shooting from 39.4-percent before halftime to 55.2-percent in the second half. That sort of success shooting the ball made it impossible for the Patriots to consider a comeback.

Jalen Jenkins opened the second half with a jumper for Loyola, but the Greyhounds then went on a 10-point run over a three-minute span to take a 42-22 lead. Following a brief exchange of shots, Loyola scored seven in a row to make it a 24-point lead at 50-26 with 12:16 remaining. They led by as many at 25 points in the second half.

The Patriots had one final run in the game and after Jones hit back-to-back shots to give the Greyhounds their 25-point lead, George Mason went on a 19-4 run. But the big lead the Greyhounds had was more than enough to hold them off.

George Mason couldn’t even get within single digits of the Greyhounds. The Patriot league run made it a 60-50 game with 5:10 remaining. Late free throws helped Loyola get back up to a 17 point lead late in the game. Kameron Murrell hit the final shot of the game to make it a 15-point margin by the game’s end.

Otis Livingston led all scorers with 19 points, but it was a volume effort for him as he went 6-for-15 from the floor. Grayson had 17 points for George Mason.

The Greyhounds will travel to Conway, South Carolina to play the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on Monday, March 20.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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