There was more than enough action on Friday to warrant a corridor rewind …
FORTUNES RISING, TEAM
Loyola. Toss up another victory for the Greyhounds, this one a 58-54 triumph at Rhode Island.
Look, Rhode Island isn’t in the best of spots right now. But the Rams are playing hard for first-year coach Dan Hurley.
And maybe more to the point, Rhode Island easily could have survived at home if not for Robert Olson‘s 3-pointer in the closing seconds of regulation.
So hats off to Loyola, the defending Metro Atlantic champions who are 5-1 heading into a pair of winnable local games (Towson, at Coppin State) this week. Even without suspended guard R.J. Williams, the Greyhounds are plugging along quite nicely; their only loss to date was at Washington.
FORTUNES RISING, INDIVIDUAL
Marshall Wood, Virginia Tech. The freshman wasn’t —- and isn’t going to be —- the star for the Hokies this year. That role will be reserved for Erick Green and Jarell Eddie on most nights.
But the forward is needed, which is why a 13-point, eight-rebound burst in an 87-76 defeat of Appalachian State is welcome for Virginia Tech (5-0).
Chances are, Wood won’t be a double-digit scorer every night, but the Hokies could use some assistance from him on a consistent basis. At 6.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game so far, Wood is providing just that.
Navy’s end-game defense. The Midshipmen and Prairie View A&M engaged in a game worthy of getting out the peach baskets. Navy led 24-15 at the half. Prairie View, a legitimate SWAC contender, won 42-40. Offenses did not rule the day.
But the Panthers did manage to make it exciting, winning on a buzzer-beater after Navy’s Brandon Venturini split a pair of free throws to tie it.
“You can’t let a guy dribble 90 feet for a lay-up to win the game,” Navy coach Ed DeChellis said afterward. “Those are winning plays you have to make. It’s very disappointing, but you have to make basketball plays. Every play matters.”
Navy (2-4) has absorbed three of its losses by a combined nine points —- one in overtime, the other two by two points each.
Players in double figures for Navy, the first time that’s happened since Feb. 4. Brandon Venturini scored a game-high seven points for the Mids.
BEYOND THE CORRIDOR
Virginia Commonwealth relentlessly badgered Duke in a 67-58 loss in the Bahamas. … Longwood collected its first victory of the season, edging Florida A&M in overtime. … William & Mary held a seven-point halftime lead but made just one shot from the field in the final eight minutes as it fell to Wake Forest 63-57. … Hampton fell to 0-4 with a five-point loss to Wofford.
Georgetown (3-1) returns home to meet Mount St. Mary’s (1-2) at noon. … Maryland (3-1) seeks its fourth straight victory as it meets Georgia Southern at Comcast Center.
Navy wraps up play on South Padre Island against Delaware State. … American (2-2) looks to shake off Monday’s loss to San Francisco as it visits Florida Atlantic. … George Washington (1-2) plays host to Hofstra. …
George Mason plays its first home game since Nov. 9 when Boston University comes to Fairfax. … Coppin State (0-4) tries to break into the win column with Division II Cheyney visiting Baltimore.
Further afield, Richmond heads to Ohio in a matchup of schools with recent trips to the round of 16 (Richmond in 2011, Ohio in 2012). … Virginia Commonwealth and Missouri meet for third-place in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.
—- Patrick Stevens