MONTREAL — Eric Laster of Westbury, N.Y., scored a game-high 25 points and added seven rebounds to give the NCAA Div. 1 Loyola University (Maryland) Greyhounds a 65-60 victory over McGill in men’s preseason basketball at Love Competition Hall, Thursday.
McGill won three of the four quarters but a second-period collapse proved costly. After taking a 16-14 lead into the second quarter, the Redmen were outscored 21-8 in the stanza to enter halftime with a 35-24 deficit. McGill won the third 20-15 and had a 16-15 edge in the final quarter.
Trailing 43-26 with seven minutes left before halftime, McGill rallied to take a 58-57 lead with only 3:53 remaining in the contest but the Loyola duo of Walker and Eric Laster of Smyrna, Delaware combined for an 8-2 rundown the stretch.
“I like the way we competed in the second half,” said McGill bench boss David DeAveiro, who was seeing his troops play for the first time after missing the first two exhibition contests while coaching the Canadian national cadet team at the FIBA world U-17 championships. “We had one bad quarter, got down (by a lot). Part of that was my fault as we didn’t need to burn a time-out early but I thought we were struggling, so I took it. Overall I was pretty pleased with the effort. We’re in the observation stage to see who can and can’t play (in the key moments).”
The Greyhounds had a narrow 62-60 lead with 75 seconds left but Walker, who finished with 13 points, added a foul shot and then stole the ball from McGill freshman Jeremie Casavant-Dubois with 30 seconds remaining and added a slam dunk to clinch the contest for the visitors.
McGill shot only 32.8 per cent in the game, making 22 of 67 field-goals. They went 9-for-25 from three-point range and only went to the foul-line eight times, coming away with seven successful trips. The Greyhounds, who had a 48-39 edge in rebounding, shot 22-for-65 from the field (33.8), went 7-for-20 from the arc and added 14 points on a whopping 21 attempts from the charity stripe.
Dufort, a 6-foot-4, 191-pound guard who led the Redmen in scoring for the third straight game, shot 5-for-15, including a 2-for-5 effort from downtown. The physical education senior was 3-for-4 from the line to go along with a team-leading six rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot in 25 minutes of court time. Dufort was the only McGill starter to score more than four points.
“I like to think that our team has some good depth this year, so when guys don’t perform, we go right to our bench and bring in some guys who can produce,” explained DeAveiro. “We’re lucky to have that luxury and I didn’t feel that our starting five were commiting to what we were trying to do in the first half, so we went to the guys who were going to do what we asked them to do.”.
Lacy, who came off the bench to play a game-high 32 minutes, shot 5-for-11 from the floor. He was an impressive 4-for-8 from trey territory. Rounding out the scoring for McGill were rookies Noah Daoust (9), Casavant-Dubois (7) and Jawara Pedican (6). Veteran Rodrigo Imperador added five and sophomore Michael Peterkin had four.
McGill,which dropped to 0-3 in preseason play, will host the Fordham University Rams, another against NCAA Div. 1 team, on Thurs., Aug. 28. Tip-off at Love Competition Hall is 7 p.m.
Loyola-Maryland, which hails from Baltimore, Md., improved to 4-0 on their seven-day, five-game excursion to Canada. They opened the tour on Aug. 23 with a doubleheader sweep over UQAM (84-67) and Brookwood Elite (86-73), an elite club team. They then coasted to a 90-74 win over Laval (Aug. 24).The Greyhounds will close out their cross-border trek at Concordia on Aug. 27.
McGill Sports Info Office