Loyola-Maryland (23-11) at East Carolina (20-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, March 26, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum (8,000) -- Greenville, North Carolina Television: None. CIT Record: Loyola-Maryland 2-0, East Carolina 2-1. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: Loyola-Maryland and East Carolina will meet for the first time on the basketball court when the teams take to the hardwood for a CIT quarterfinals matchup at Minges Coliseum on Tuesday.
The winner will have to wait to find out the next opponent as the tournament re-seeds after each round.
The Greyhounds finished the regular season tied for second place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings with Rider as they both had 12-6 records at the conclusion of the campaign. Loyola earned its first-ever Division I postseason victory in the first round of the CIT as it defeated Boston University, 70-63. It followed up that with a 73-59 rout of Kent State. In the win against the Golden Flashes, Erik Etherly finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds, while dishing out four assists. Dylon Cormier added 18 points and Robert Olson chipped in with 10.
Cormier leads the Greyhounds at 16.5 ppg, while Etherly (15.9 ppg) and Olson (12.8 ppg) are also averaging double figures. Anthony Winbush is not a big- time scoring threat at 6.9 ppg, but he is tops in rebounding (6.2 rpg) for Loyola. Both Cormier and Etherly earned All-MAAC First Team accolades for their strong performances during conference action. The Greyhounds are a tenacious defensive unit as they have held 14 of their opponents to less than 60 points, including three under the 50-point mark. Their only experience this season against Conference USA came with a 78-64 loss to the league champion Memphis Tigers.
As for the Pirates, they will be defending their home court where they set a school-record with 15 wins this season, including a 10-1 mark versus non- conference foes. ECU also collected its first-ever postseason win in the first round of the CIT as it edged Savannah State, 66-65. It followed that triumph with a more comfortable, 75-54 victory over Rider. Maurice Kemp posted a monster double-double with 20 points and a game-high 15 rebounds in the victory over the Broncs. Ty Armstrong also tallied 20 points in the decision. The Pirates shot only 4-of-19 from 3-point range in the meeting, but made up for that by limiting the visitors to 16 total field goals and forcing Rider into 18 turnovers.
Kemp delivered an all-conference caliber season with 18.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Paul is statistically one of the best in Conference USA with 13.1 points and 6.9 assists per outing and Robert Sampson's nine rebounds and 1.9 blocks per contest gives ECU a formidable presence on the inside. Coach Jeff Lebo has instilled an uptempo flow into the Pirates which yields 77.0 points and 17.4 assists per contest, ranking 16th and 2nd in the nation in those categories, respectively.
The Pirates had little trouble with a decent MAAC program their last time out, but this will be a different type of game against the defensive-minded Greyhounds. Loyola will not let the contest get out of hand, but it will have a lot of trouble grabbing a win on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: East Carolina 68, Loyola-Maryland 62
03/26 10:34:21 ET