NGSC Sports

UMass Lowell makes it five in row, 83-75 over Loyola

Down 16 points to anyone is never a good idea and it is what the Umass Lowell River Hawks faced in the second half of their game vs Loyola at Costello Fieldhouse on Sunday afternoon. Just when you thought the win streak may come to an end, back came the home team. An 11-0 run got them back into it, followed by a 20-0 run that put them ahead to stay. The unbeaten home streak is in tack thanks to an 83-75 win over Loyola of MD.

River Hawks senior guard Jahad Thomas, who registered his third double-double of the season, 17 points and 14 rebounds, said it best after the game when he said: “We were flat to start the game”. Good thing for him and his teammates the way they started the contest was not how they ended it.

UMass Lowell had the lead for only 18 seconds of the first half on a Rinardo Perry (10 points) three-pointer. It gave the home team a 5-4 advantage with 17:39 left in the opening first twenty minutes. From there, the River Hawks played uphill the rest of the way. Loyola had something to do with that, an 8-0 run by the visitors gave them a 15 to 7 lead with 14:00 left in first half. Andrew Kostecka, who scored all ten of his points in the first half, along with Cam Gregory, 12 in the first half on his way to a second double-double of the season of 18 and 12, kept the River Hawks at bay.

Head Coach Pat Duquette said afterward “we gave up 45 points which are too many in the first half”. He continued by saying he did not think his team was playing the right way.

The start of the second half did not show much promise for the home team. A quick 5-0 run gave Greyhounds there first double-digit lead at 50 to 40 at the 18:48 mark of the second half. The lead jumps to 13 on a three-ball by Andre Walker (17 points), and would get to 16 thanks to a three by James Fives (10 points before fouling out) at 61 to 45 Loyola with 15:47 left. It was looking good for the Greyhounds to pick up their first Division 1 win if the season.

Then came the comeback and it started harmlessly enough as a Connor Bennett layup cut the lead to 14 at 61-47 with 15:39 to be played.  River Hawks then rip off nine more points, five of them from Thomas 65-56 Loyola. After a free throw from Isaiah Hart push the lead back to ten at 66 to 56, The River Hawks took over the game.

UMass Lowell would take the game over by knocking down premier shots. The three ball became a deadly weapon, they would knock down six of them including back to back treys from Matt Harris (19 for the game) including a three-ball left corner pocket that gave the River Hawks the lead at 68 to 66 with 5:36 to play. The crowd was back in the game, and UMass Lowell was feeding off of it.

The run would continue once they got the lead. An 8-0 burst gave the River Hawks their first 10 point lead, 76 to 66 with 3:11 left. Gregory would hit a couple of foul shots to stop the bleeding, but only for a moment.  Five straight free throws by UMass Lowell bumped the lead back to ten at 81 to 71 with 1:16 left to play. All that was left was to run the clock out. Final score from Costello, River Hawks 83 Greyhounds 75.

The River Hawks will look to finish their homestand in style when they host Sacred Heart on Wednesday night at 7 pm.

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