To accommodate television, Wednesday's early season matchup of cross-town rivals Loyola and UMBC tipped off at the unusually late time of 9 p.m.
Luckily for the host Greyhounds, redshirt freshman Tyler Hubbard made his presence felt early and often.
Hubbard, a 6-foot-1 guard from Montrose Christian, scored a career-high 17 points, including 11 straight for his team midway through the first half as Loyola built a 15-point lead by halftime on its way to an 86-70 win.
"Tyler Hubbard saved us in the first half," Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos said. "I thought Tyler was really patient, just waiting for the shots to come to him. This is only the third college game he's played, and he really gave us a good boost."
Loyola (2-1) has won six straight games against UMBC (1-2), and will face other local schools Towson and Coppin State later this month.
Hubbard, who led the Washington area in 3-pointers as a senior, carried Loyola at times in the first half, scoring 14 points in the first 13:37. He was six of seven from the field, including four of five from beyond the arc.
"My teammates just saw me open," Hubbard said. "Jimmy told me to just take open shots, and it worked tonight."
UMBC's acting head coach Aki Thomas said about Hubbard: "We knew he was a good shooter going in. When you attack the middle of the floor so strongly guys are going to be open. I think he was the recipient of a lot of good, hard middle penetration."
What Hubbard started, senior Erik Etherly finished, scoring 17 in the second half to finish with 22 points and seven rebounds. Junior Dylon Cormier (Cardinal Gibbons) also finished with 17 points and seven rebounds and 6-8 freshman Franz Rassman had eight points to go along with nine rebounds and three blocks.
Rassman led an impressive rebounding effort for Loyola, which held a 45-28 advantage on the boards.
"We came out [in the second half] and got some stops, but then we couldn't finish it with a rebound," Thomas said. "I think we got four stops, but all four of those stops, they got an offensive rebound that resulted in points. We get those stops, and I think it's a different ballgame."
Forward Chase Plummer, an America East second-team pick a year ago, led UMBC with 28 points -- tying a career high. Ryan Cook (St. Vincent Pallotti), the reigning America East Player of the Week, finished with 12.
After hitting three of their first six shots, including three-pointers by Plummer and Aaron Morgan, the Retrievers went ice cold for the remainder of the half, making just six of their next 26 shots from the field.
Down 13-9, Loyola, the defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion, began to get in sync offensively, turning several defensive stops into easy chances at the other end.
The Greyhounds took the lead for good on the first of Hubbard's four three-pointers, and his three-point play moments later completed an 11-2 run that put Loyola up, 20-15.
He then nailed a three from the top of the key before missing another that Cormier rebounded and put back to extend the lead to 11.
The momentum seemed to slip briefly when Patsos was called for a technical foul with 5:06 left in the half following a Loyola foul. But after hitting three of four foul shots, UMBC failed to take further advantage.
Loyola then built its lead to 15 on Cormier's driving layup near halftime.
The Retrievers, however, continued to battle in the second half, cutting the lead to 10 when Plummer nailed a three in transition to cap an 11-2 run. They would get no closer, with the Greyhounds pulling away down the stretch.
"Local rivalries are always tough games," Patsos said. "I don't care who you're playing."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun