Erik Etherly and Robert Olson both scored 23 points, and Anthony Winbush finished with a career-best 20, but it was not enough to counteract the game-high 35 put up by Iona's Lamont Jones, as the Gaels defeated Loyola, 90-86, on Friday night.
Iona (16-13, 10-7 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) shot 76 percent from the field in the second half, making 19 of 25 shots after the break, and Jones made all seven of his attempts in the final 20 minutes.
Olson tied the game at 36 9.8 seconds before the half with a 3-pointer from the left side off an assist by R.J. Williams.
Loyola (20-10, 11-6) took its first lead of the game when Winbush scored in the paint 15 seconds into the second half, and the Greyhounds led for much of the period's first six minutes. Franz Rassman scored on back-to-back possessions for Loyola to push the Greyhounds' advantage to 44-40 at 17:37, but that was the biggest lead they would take.
A free throw by Etherly at 14:34 pushed Loyola back up one, but Iona scored nine of the next 12 points, and a layup by David Laury III at 10:31 made the Gaels' lead 68-51.
Bowie State 83, Winston-Salem State 66: The Bulldogs advanced to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament final by topping the nationally ranked Rams in Charlotte, N.C.
The Bulldogs will make their first championship appearance since 2003, when they took the crown. They will meet Livingstone for the title at 8:30 tonight.
The Bulldogs, seeded fourth in the Northern Division, stunned the Rams by making 24 of 29 free throws. They hit 10 of 12 free throws in the final 3:26 to pull off the upset over the Rams, the No. 2 seed in the Southern Division. The Rams are 10th in the NABC Division II poll.
By contrast, the Rams were 8-for-19 from the foul line in the second half after making nine of 15 in the first 20 minutes. For the game, the Rams were 17-for-34 for 50 percent.
Senior Byron Westmorland (Mervo) paced the Bulldogs with 27 points, and fellow senior Dameatric Scott added 21 points, including a two-handed dunk in the late stages to put an exclamation point on the win. It made the score 81-66 with 51 seconds left.
"Tonight's game was just a war. We knew it was going to be that way. Those guys were a very physical basketball team, a great rebounding team, maybe the best rebounding basketball team in the conference" said Bowie State coach Darrell Brooks. "I thought my guys played very, very tough. I thought we played very together. We went down 10, they never flinched and I'm just very proud and happy for our guys just to get to tomorrow's game."
Senior Bryan Wilson scored 10 points and senior Branden Doughty added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who outrebounded the Rams 52-48. Westmoreland added nine rebounds and Scott had seven rebounds as the Bulldogs (15-14 overall) made life hard for the Rams in the paint. Points didn't come easily inside for the Rams, who shot 21 percent in the second half. The Bulldogs also outscored the Rams 24-12 in the paint and 15-4 in points off turnovers.
By making their free throws, the Bulldogs were able to control the second half. They outscored the Rams 46-28 to break open a tight game. Westmoreland was 7-for-8 and Doughty was 5-for-6 from the free-throw line to lead the Bulldogs.
Justin Glover did everything he could to keep the Rams (21-6 overall) in the contest. He scored 17 of his game-high 29 points in the second half including 4-for-8 from 3-point range. But no other Ram scored in double figures. Wakefield Ellison added nine points and Marcus Wells added eight points.
Trailing 38-37, the Bulldogs started the second half on a 23-9 run. Wilson capped the run with a 3-pointer for a 60-47 Bulldogs lead with 10:43 left. Glover hit a 3 to pull the Rams within seven at 71-64 with 3:13 left, but the Bulldogs relied on free throws to put the game out of reach.
When asked about playing Livingstone in the championship, Brooks said: "I'm really anxious for it. I think those guys are playing as well as anybody in the country in NCAA Division II. They're long, their athletic, they've got two terrific guards, and they're very well coached. We are just ready for the challenge and we're looking forward to it."
Loyola 56, Fairfield 48: Seniors Katie Sheahin and Alyssa Sutherland led the host Greyhounds (11-17, 6-11 MAAC) past the Stags (17-11, 11-6).
Sutherland tied a career high with a season-best 18 points, while Sheahin chipped in her seventh career double double, and her second of the season, with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Kara Marshall also reached double figures in scoring with 11 points.
For Fairfield, Katie Cizynski led the way with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
The Greyhounds will conclude the regular season at Saint Peter's on Sunday at 2 p.m.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun