Baltimore, MD – Loyola (MD) held off a late Boston University run with several important late game free throws, closing a 77-69 win. Boston opened conference play on a five game winning streak sitting atop the Patriot League standings. Loyola has been a little inconsistent to say the least, and started play at 2-3.
This game was different than many would have expected, even with Boston being on the road. Loyola got off to a great start and never looked back leading the entire game. The Greyhounds were led by sophomore 6-0 point guard Andre Walker’s 35 points, on 9-of-12 from the three point line. Walker was scorching hot and at one point was 9-of-10 from three. Conference leading Boston battled throughout, but ultimately came up short in the end. Boston was led by senior 6-5 shooting guard Eric Fanning, who scored 27 points and chipped in 13 rebounds.
Fanning did his best to keep his team close throughout, but when a team finishes shooting 1-of-18 from three it was a miracle they only lost by eight. Fanning, a solidly built guard, bullied his way to the basket overpowering his defender. He has an array of isolation moves he uses to get into the lane, where he then uses his body and strength to get shots off at the rim. Fanning finished the game by going 13-of-15 from the free throw line. He has a knack for taking on contact and using his great body control to hang in the air and finish. He plays more like a point forward than just a guard. He sets the offense, as well as defends and rebounds at a high level. Fanning will be a candidate for Patriot League player of the year.
Other contributors for Boston were junior 6-8 forward Nick Havener who had 15 points and eight rebounds, and sophomore 6-1 point guard Kyle Foreman who finished with six points, four assists and three steals.
Walker bested his previous career high of 31, by dominating the game from deep. Walker was shooting from NBA range. He came off screens, shot pull-ups and even on the move. When Walker released from the catch and shoot, it was as good as automatic on the night. Walker scored in bunches and forced Boston to blitz him when he had the ball on the perimeter. This really opened the entire floor up for his teammates. The scoring guard proved that he will be a deadly force from downtown for the rest of the Patriot League to keep tabs on.
Senior 6-6 forward Jarred Jones did not have the best game shooting or on offense in general. He struggled with his decision making and had a hard time knocking down open mid range jumpers. Jones found other ways to contribute though. He made an impact on defense and used his vision to set up his teammates when he knew it wasn’t his night to score. Jones may be Loyola’s most important player on the team, so finding other ways to impact the game should provide dividends for the Greyhounds in the rest of conference play. Jones finished with 14 points, ten rebounds, eight assists, four steals and six turnovers.
The other main contributor for Loyola was junior 6-8 power forward Cam Gregory. The long and slender, but physical forward was a force in the paint for the Greyhounds. Gregory was active on the boards, as well as on defense. He recorded a steal that led to a monstrous open floor dunk over a defender in the first half, which invigorated the student section. Gregory finished with 15 points, twelve rebounds and three steals.
Boston will likely not shoot this poorly from three for the rest of the season during a game. They came into the game at 38%, so shooting 1-of-18 is an anomaly. Loyola will need to build on this win. They have a chance at being in the top half of this league and need to become more consistent.
Boston next faces Colgate at home on Wednesday while Loyola is at Bucknell, also on Wednesday.
This article was written by Greg Walter, a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can subscribe to our RSS feed from the upper right corner of our home page, follow us on Facebook, or on twitter.
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