Courtesy of LoyolaGreyhounds.com
BALTIMORE – Dartmouth College took a 23-8 lead in the first eight minute of Loyola University Maryland’s home opener on Sunday evening, but the Greyhounds came back to tie the game at 27-27 just under seven minutes before halftime. The Big Green then held off Loyola late for an 82-80 non-conference victory in Reitz Arena.
Brent Holcombe scored a career-high 20 points, while Chuck Champion had his first career double-double with 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for Loyola. KaVaughn Scott also matched his career-best with 14 points, and Kenneth Jones came off the bench to score 10 in his second collegiate game.
Dartmouth (2-1 overall) was buoyed by strong 3-point shooting as it made 13 of 23 (56.5 percent) from behind the arc in the game after starting 10 of 15 from that range in the first half.
After Jackson scored the first points of the game in the paint 15 seconds in, James Foye, Brendan Barry and Jackson knocked down threes for Dartmouth, giving the Big Green an 11-0 lead and forcing a Loyola timeout 2:42 in the game.
The Dartmouth lead grew to 15, 23-8, on a three by Barry with 12:03 left in the game, and 25-10 when Knight scored in the paint, but Loyola scored 15 of the next 17 points, tying the game at 27-27 when Sam Norton kicked a pass to Champion for a layup.
After Dartmouth led by five, 48-43, at halftime, Guilien Smith and Knight hit threes in the first 2:30 of the second half to lead by 54-43. The advantage hit 12, 59-47, when Barry converted a pair of free throws, but again Loyola had a rally in it.
A Jones jumper at 9:47 cut the deficit to 63-62 for the Greyhounds, but Dartmouth pushed it back to five on a Knight basket at 6:14.
After an Andrew Kostecka stea for the Greyhounds at 4:54, Scott was fouled and made one of two at the free-throw line, again pulling the Greyhounds within a point. On the next trip down the court, Scott scored in the paint with 3:56 left, and Loyola was in front for the first time, 72-71.
Knight put the Big Green back in front momentarily, but Norton cut to the basket and took a Scott pass from the elbow to score at 3:17. Jackson then hit a pair of free throws for Dartmouth 23 seconds later to put the Big Green back in front, but Kostecka answered with two at the line at 2:42.
The Big Green again fed the ball to Knight in the paint, and he scored two of his 19 with 2:28 on the clock.
Loyola would tie the score twice thereafter, but two Foye free throws at 1:29 made it an 81-79 Dartmouth lead. The Greyhounds came out without points on their next trip down the floor, but a Smith turnover gave it back to Loyola with under 27 seconds left in regulation.
A Norton layup went off the mark, and Barry grabbed the rebound and was fouled. He made the first of two at the line with six ticks on the clock, but his second free throw drew iron, and Holcombe grabbed the board.
He sent it ahead to Champion who was fouled by Foye before he was able to get a shot off. With two seconds on the clock and trailing by three, Champion made the front end of the free throws, but intentionally missed the second. The loose ball deflected off a Dartmouth player, and after review, 1.2 seconds were put on the clock with Loyola inbounding underneath the basket.
Holcombe took a three that was released in time, but it bounced off, and Dartmouth secured the win.
Loyola had a 34-28 advantage on the glass with Champion’s 11 leading the way. It was the first time in his career he has pulled down more than nine rebounds. Holcombe added seven for the Greyhounds.
Sunday also saw a significant decrease in turnovers for Loyola as the Greyhounds finished with eight after having 24 in the season-opener at St. John’s University.
Loyola will be back in action quickly, hosting Delaware State University on Tuesday, November 13, at 7 p.m. in Reitz Arena.