BUFFALO, N.Y. – (Canisius Release) Loyola (Md.) senior forward Shane Walker posted a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds and three other Greyhound players scored in double figures as Loyola defeated Canisius College 70-52 Sunday afternoon on Hall of Fame Day in the Koessler Athletic Center. The win improves Loyola to 16-5 overall and 9-2 in MAAC play, while the Golden Griffins slipped to 4-17 overall and 1-10 in league action.
Junior guard Alshwan Hymes led all Canisius scorers with 12 points and he also matched a career-high with seven rebounds. Fellow junior Gaby Belardo chipped in nine points, while Harold Washington and sophomore Chris Manhertz were good for eight points apiece. Washington added five rebounds and a team-high five assists in the loss for the Blue and Gold, the team’s fifth-straight defeat.
Walker went 6-for-12 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line in the win, with six of his game-high 11 rebounds coming off the offensive glass. Junior Erik Etherly posted 15 points and five assists for the Greyhounds, while sophomore Justin Drummond and junior Robert Olson posted 14 and 13 points, respectively. Loyola shot 43.3 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from 3-point land and ended the game with a 43-27 advantage on the glass, with 22 of those rebounds coming at the offensive end of the floor.
The Griffs led by as many as seven in the early part of the first half and held a 22-16 lead with 8:02 left before the break after sophomore David Santiago scored on a coast-to-coast drive and layup. From there, the Blue and Gold would go cold from the field, and Loyola took advantage, outscoring the Griffs 12-0 over the final 8:02 of the half to take a 28-22 lead into the locker room at the break. Out of halftime, Loyola continued its push forward with a 12-2 run in the first 4:02 of the second stanza to drive its cushion to 40-24 with 15:58 left on the clock.
Canisius was able to whittle Loyola’s margin to nine at 44-35 with 11:54 left in regulation time on a jumper by Belardo from just outside of the key, but a traditional three-point play by Drummond and a 12-foot baseline jumper from Walker pushed Loyola’s lead back to double-digits at 48-36. A 3-pointer from Hymes and a jumper from Belardo got Canisius within eight points at 51-43 with 9:37 showing on the clock, but the ‘Hounds answered the bell once again and took the game over with an 8-2 run over the next 2:43 en route to securing the game.
“You can’t fault the effort today, our guys played really hard, but at the end of the day, it is a 40-minute game, not a 30-minute game,” Canisius head coach Tom Parrotta said. “We’ve been trying to do some different things defensively to keep teams off balance and I think we did a good job with that, but our top three scorers were 3-for-21 in the first half, which makes it tough. The fact we were only down six at halftime was in large part because we kept playing hard. I don’t like the outcome, but I’m proud of the effort our guys gave today. It is the same effort we get in practice everyday.”
Freshman guard Franklin Milian matched a career-high with seven points in his second career start, while freshman Josiah Heath added six points, three rebounds and three blocked shots to the Canisius effort. The Blue and Gold shot 40.7 percent from the field and 23.5 percent from 3-point land for the game. In the game’s final 20 minutes, the Griffs shot 52 percent from the floor, going 13-for-25 as a team.
Canisius will head back on the road next weekend, starting Thursday, Feb. 2, when the team plays at Iona in New Rochelle, N.Y. That game will be the MAAC’s National Game of the Week and can be seen exclusively on ESPN3. Tipoff in the Hynes Center is set for 7 p.m.
Game Notes: This was the 57th all-time meeting between these two Jesuit schools, with Canisius holding a 34-22 lead in the series… Loyola swept the regular-season series, the Greyhounds’ first sweep of the Griffs since the 2007-08 campaign… Hymes’ two made 3-pointers gives him 148 for his career, which ranks fifth all-time in school history… Hymes played in his 75th career game on Sunday, which leads all active players… Heath matched a career-high with three blocks, the third time this season he’s been credited with three blocks in a game… Belardo’s two assists on Sunday gives him 170 in his career, and his two steals gives him at least one swipe in eight of the team’s last nine outings.