Loyola 69, Niagara 57
How Loyola Won: That was maybe the best "D" anyone's played on Niagara at Taps this season. The Greyhounds were hawking in their man-to-man coverage and were determined not to surrender open looks. And they succeeded. Niagara went just 22 of 56 from the field and their frustration seemed to carry over to the foul line, from where they were 7 of 18. Loyola's talented. I liked them at Bona back in mid-December. The Purple Eagles can be satisfied with the roundabout split.
Player of the Game: Justin Drummond should be the spokesperson for an "I Love NY" campaign. He had a career-high 26 at Bona. He followed up with 21 against Niagara while playing a season-high 34 minutes. He loves taking it to the hoop. And he can shoot free throws (11 of 12). He took over the game.
Stat of the Game: Niagara went 7 of 18 from the free throw line.
Unsung: Joe Thomas gave the Purple Eagles a nice lift off the bench after Scooter Gillette ran into foul trouble early in the second half. Thomas scored six points and grabbed five boards in 19 minutes. Of course he missed all three free throw attempts.
They Said It . . .
Niagara coach Joe Mihalich on Loyola: "I think that' the best team they've had. Chemistry, the whole bit. All the pieces."
Mihalich on Niagara's free throw shooting: "Three of them were one and ones, so really you're 7 for 21. It was a kicker, no doubt about that."
In the House: A mere 1,626 on Beach Night at the Gallagher Center.
What It Means: Loyola retained a share of first in the conference at 8-2. Niagara fell to 4-6.
Next Up: The Purple Eagles welcome Manhattan to Taps at 4 Sunday. Loyola plays at Canisius at 2:15.
taggedCollege basketball | Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference | Niagara