Looking back at Monday’s three games in the corridor …
FORTUNES RISING, TEAM
Mount St. Mary’s. More on the Mountaineers later, but consider that they’ve hung around with American for 36 minutes, hung around with Georgetown for 32 minutes and then blistered a George Washington team clearly unprepared for their high-pressure system in a 65-56 victory.
Mount St. Mary’s is 2-3, which isn’t exactly a record dreams are made of. But after watching Jamion Christian‘s team twice this month, it is immensely difficult to imagine the Mount not overachieving in the Northeast Conference unless it falls into a collective slump.
Almost no one presses the heck out of opponents anymore. George Washington’s reaction —- 25 turnovers and often nary a clue what to do about it —- is going to be replicated a lot in league play. This would have sounded a little far-fetched a month ago, but it isn’t now: The Mountaineers, who were 8-21 last season, have a very real chance to double their win total.
FORTUNES RISING, INDIVIDUAL
Dylon Cormier, Loyola. The junior turned in 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists and no turnovers as the Greyhounds handled Towson 65-53. He’s now averaging 17.1 points and 4.7 rebounds, and has only six turnovers in seven games for Loyola (6-1).
George Washington’s bench. The Colonials did not look good at all, but it had to be especially unnerving for coach Mike Lonergan to get so little from his reserves. The final tally: 50 minutes, three points, six rebounds, one assist and eight turnovers.
George Washington is going to have ups and downs with three freshman starters, but it needs more from veteran reserves like Dwayne Smith, Bryan Bynes and Nemanja Mikic if it wants to avoid consecutive losing seasons.
Assists (against 15 turnovers) for Towson in its loss to Loyola. The Tigers had a bit of a correction as they fell to 3-3 with the setback down Charles Street against the experienced Greyhounds. It doesn’t mean Towson isn’t vastly better; it is. It just isn’t going to be a completely smooth ride.
UMBC stuck with Marquette for a half before the Golden Eagles rolled to a 79-46 victory in Milwaukee. Chase Plummer was the only player in double figures for the Retrievers (1-4), scoring 12 points.
BEYOND THE CORRIDOR
Norfolk State fell 73-67 at Morehead State in a game featuring 16 lead changes, the last of which happened with 27 seconds to play. The Spartans fell to 2-5.
Howard (1-5), coming off its first victory of the season, visits Pittsburgh. … In an unexpectedly compelling ACC/Big Ten Challenge game, Iowa (5-1) travels to Virginia Tech (5-0). … Maryland (4-1) gets a preview of a future conference game when it heads to Northwestern (6-0).
—- Patrick Stevens