The Patriot League will kick off their tournament with two games on a Tuesday night. The games will be played on the court of the higher seed.
Ninth seeded American will travel to West Point to face eighth seeded Army. The two teams split the season series both winning on the other’s home court. In the first match up, Army jumped up to a 17 point lead only to see the Eagles come back and take a brief lead.
The Black Knights pushed the lead back to 8 and the Eagles came back again and had a chance to win but couldn’t close the the deal and Army walked away with a 53-49 victory.
In their second match up, American forced 21 Army turnovers in their 61-58 victory. The 21 forced turnovers led to 20 points and helped offset Army’s +7 advantage in rebounds. After only attempting 4 free throws in the first game, the Eagles attempted 21 in the second.
American comes into the game riding a two game winning streak while Army has won three of their last four.
Tuesday’s second game pits seventh seed Loyola against Lafayette. Like the first match up, the two teams split winning on the other’s home floor. Lafayette scored a 78-69 win in the first game. The victory gave Leopards’ coach Fran O’Hanlon his 300th career victory.
A late 3 pointer by Nick Lindner pushed a 2 point lead to a 5 point lead. Lafayette shot 56% from the field while Loyola (MD) only shot 36.9%. The Greyhounds kept the game close despite the low shooting percentage because of their 18 offensive rebounds.
In the rematch, the Greyhound’s Cam Gregory will his team to a 70-62 victory. Gregory’s 21 points and 14 rebounds helped offset Lafayette’s Nick Lindner’s 21 points and 7 assists. Loyola (MD) led by as many as 28 points in the first half. The Leopards showed incredible resolve and cut the lead to one, 48-47, after a Matt Klinewski basket but that was as close at they got. Eventually, the Greyhounds pushed the lead back to 11 en route to their victory.
Player of the Week: Jordan Fox (Army)
Rookie of the Week: Will Rayman (Colgate)
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Marcus “Mook” Washington is the host of Making The Cut. Follow Mook on Twitter: @mtcwithmook and IG: MTCWithMook. Member: USBWA, FWAA