February 25, 2011 - 7:07 PM
Loyola 45, Niagara 38, 15:22: A Dylon Cormier jumper, a Brian Rudolph steal and layup and a Rudolph jumper comprised a 6-0 burst that put the Greyhounds ahead, 45-36, before Edwards answered with a rebound dunk for Niagara. Greyhounds have hit 4 of first 7 shots in half.
Loyola 50, Niagara 44, 10:22: Wild. End to end. Not much in the way of structure. A Nelson rebound basket had Niagara within 47-44 before Shane Walker, a 6-10 junior, nailed a three from the corner as the shot clock expired. Nelson's 40-foot pass to Jordan for a fastbreak layup was sweetness.
Loyola 57, Niagara 49, 7:51: How to defend a jumper from a 6-10 forward? A pair of them by Walker extended Loyola advantage. Be interesting to see how he develops over summer. A jumper and mobility at 6-10?
Loyola 67, Niagara 59, 3:32: Gillette fouls out with 5:09 left. Ethlerly leads all scored with 19. Walker fouls out for Greyhounds with 11.
FINAL: Loyola 75, Niagara 63.
Loyola 7, Niagara 2, 15:58: Rebound dunk by Scooter Gillette three minutes in is all Niagara has mustered. Eagles are 1-8 from field. Loyola's Erik Etherly has two SportsCenter dunks, one off a baseline drive, the other off a steal.
Loyola 12, Niagara 8, 10:48: Gillette just picked up second foul. Tough break for Niagara. He came to play tonight and just scored on a vicious slam off a two-on-one break with Marvin Jordan. Loyola had lead up to 12-4 before Jordan fed Kashief Edwards for a dunk off the baseline and made a sweet bounce pass to Gillette for his jam. Erik Williams in for Gillette.
Loyola 24, Niagara 17, 7:06: Greyhounds on 10-2 run after Niagara opened 15-14 lead. ... There have been seven dunks ... Nelson set Niagara career assist record on dish to Kashief Edwards for layup with 9:35 remaining. He has 630. ... Loyola 9-20 FG, Niagara 5-18.
Loyola 30, Niagara 22, 3:45: Purple Eagles struggling to contend with Loyola's massive size advantage. Shane Walker, who goes 6-10, just hit a jumper in the lane. Brooks (6-9) and Etherly (6-7) have multiple dunks. Anthony Nelson just picked up second foul. Can Niagara risk leaving him in for final 3:45? He's staying in.
Halftime: Loyola 33, Niagara 31. Jordan three and assertive drive by Kevon Moore have Purple Eagles within a deuce.
Loyola (14-13, 9-7) vs. Niagara (8-21, 4-12) at the Gallagher Center.
Students on break. Major downer. . . . Niagara has won nine straight in series, including 59-57 win in Baltimore on Feb. 11. ... Greyhounds haven't won in Gallagher Center since 1997. . . . Loyola has 6-foot-9 soph forward Julius Brooks back for this game. He missed 12 straight games with injury before returning three games ago. That means he missed first meeting with Niagara, a game in which the Purple Eagles won the board, 35-31.
Niagara's Anthony Nelson leads nation at 3.3 steals per game and is four shy of Tyrone Lewis' single-season school record of 91.
-- Bob DiCesare