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Loyola Marymount storms back in second half to stun Georgetown

Sportsnaut
Mar 9, 2022; New York, NY, USA; Georgetown Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing coaches during the first half during the Big East Conference Tournament against the Seton Hall Pirates at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Loyola Marymount outscored Georgetown 52-24 in the second half en route to an 84-66 win in the opening round of the Jamaica Classic on Friday in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Loyola advances to the Montego Bay Division championship game on Sunday versus Wake Forest, a 75-63 winner over La Salle. Georgetown plays La Salle in the consolation game.

Keli Leaupepe led Loyola (3-2) with 15 points and nine rebounds, and Justin Ahrens added 12 points. The Lions shot 54.3 percent (19 for 35) in the second half, including 50 percent (9 of 18) from three-point range. Michael Graham chipped in nine points and nine rebounds.

Brandon Murray led the Hoyas (2-2) with 19 points and Jay Heath added 15 points. Primo Spears, who averaged 23.7 points over Georgetown’s first three games, finished with 10 points on 4-of-17 shooting.

Georgetown shot just 27.6 percent (8 of 29) from the field after intermission, including 25 percent (3-of-12) from beyond the arc.

The Lions outrebounded the Hoyas 24-14 in the second half.

Loyola trailed by 10 at halftime, but Cam Shelton’s layup capped a 6-0 burst that pulled the Lions within 44-40, and Shelton’s fast-break dunk tied the score at 46 with 13:36 remaining.

Ahrens and Alex Merkviladze hit consecutive 3-pointers to cap a 12-0 run and put the Lions up 52-46.

Rick Issanza’s dunk followed by 3s from Merkviladze and Chance Stephens pushed the lead to 63-48 with 9:02 left to play, and Graham’s dunk made it 70-54 with 5:10 remaining.

The Hoyas got within 74-63 on Spears’ driving layup with 2:37 remaining, but the Lions answered with five quick points, including Leaupepe’s 3-pointer.

Georgetown trailed 19-16 when Murray’s layup ignited a 10-0 run capped by Akok Akok’s layup. The Hoyas took their biggest lead of the half, 38-27, on Ryan Mutombo’s layup with 1:58 remaining ahead of a 42-32 halftime advantage.

The Hoyas shot 48 percent (14 for 29) in the first half and made 14 of 14 free throws while the Lions hit 41 percent (13 of 32) and went 3 for 4 from the foul line.

–Field Level Media