Five Key Plays: Loyola 68, American 66

American lost its Patriot League opener at home to Loyola, 68-66. Here are our selected five key plays/sequences from the loss. 

1. Jarred Jones in the paint
From the opening tip, it was clear that American had no answer for Loyola's 6-6 Jarred Jones. Before the game on his weekly radio show, Mike Brennan hinted that you couldn't guard the versatile Jones with a little guy or a big guy, and his words proved to be a harbinger of what was to come. Jones paced Loyola during a hot-shooting, paint-dominated first half for both teams. 

2. American gets to free-throw line, ties it up 52-52
Boosted by unexpected contributions from Alex Paquin, getting to the free-throw line, and a clutch Delante Jones 3, American went on a 12-2 run to tie the score at 52. 

3. Loyola answers with 14-4 run, takes control
As you can see, as was the theme all night, American couldn't control Loyola's penetration with three different guys getting to the rim during the pivotal period of the game. After the Greyhounds' 14-4 burst, the game seemed all but done...

4. American makes late run, gets within two
Just when American seemed done, down 66-56 with a minute and a half left, the Eagles made a late run. Aided by three Loyola turnovers, the Eagles used four three throws (on six attempts) and 3s by Jalen Rhea and Sa'eed Nelson (game-high 22) to get within 68-66

5. Sa'eed Nelson has final shot attempt blocked
After American got a great stop on a Mark Gasperini block out of bounds and then Charlie Jones' defense on Jones, the Eagles took a timeout with 6.7 seconds left. However, Nelson didn't have much time or space to operate (notice the congestion near the top of the key) and his desperation 3 as time expired was blocked by Loyola's Andre Walker, sealing the Greyhounds' victory.