Bucknell fell to 20-8 overall and 12-3 in the Patriot League, and its Patriot League lead was reduced to one game over Boston University. The Terriers won 69-68 at Colgate earlier in the evening, and now Bucknell and Boston University will meet on Sunday in Boston.
Nana Foulland led the Bison with 17 points, but he fouled out for the first time all year with 1:33 remaining in a foul-filled contest. Zach Thomas added 13 points, five assists and five steals, John Azzinaro had 12 points off the bench, and Kimbal Mackenzie added 11 and six assists for Bucknell.
Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field and lit it up from 3-point range. Bucknell hit 12 of 19 from the arc, while Loyola was 7-for-11.
The Bison trailed 57-42 early in the second half, then exploded on a 20-2 run. Azzinaro drained three 3-pointers in a span of less than three minutes to help get the run going. Foulland gave the Bison a 60-59 lead with a five-footer along the baseline, and then Foulland's dunk off a Thomas feed made it 62-59 with 8:38 to go.
Loyola immediately shot back with a 7-0 spurt. Andre Walker, who had 18 points in the game, hit a corner three off an inbounds play to tie it back up at 62. Jones then scored twice in the lane to put the Greyhounds up by four.
Bucknell twice hit go-ahead 3-pointers in the final minutes. Thomas hit one from the top of the key to make it 69-67 with 4:36 left. Mackenzie later put the Bison on top 74-73 with a left-wing trey with 1:11 to go.
Loyola went inside to Jones, who was cut off by Thomas before getting a fadeaway jumper to fall with 45 seconds left. Brown missed a 3-point try, and Loyola was awarded possession after a replay review. Thomas deflected the inbounds pass, and after another lengthy video review, Bucknell got the ball this time. Brown went hard to the basket, but his shot was blocked by Jones.
Bucknell fouled Chuck Champion, who hit two free throws with 0:05 left. Loyola then elected to foul with a 3-point lead. After a missed front end of a 1-and-1, Cam Gregory made 1 of 2 at the line to ice the game. Brown then swished a shot from just inside halfcourt to make it a 1-point final.
"It was a hard-fought game, but we lost it in that stretch early in the second half when we fell behind by 15," said head coach Nathan Davis. "You can't have lapses like that if you want to win on the road in February. Give Loyola credit, they hit some really tough shots. The good news is we still have the lead with three games to go, but now we need to bounce back and play well in Boston on Sunday."
Loyola shot 53 percent and hit 4 of 6 from the 3-point arc in the first half en route to a 43-34 halftime lead. The Greyhounds hit three treys and converted two 3-point plays in the first nine minutes, with Champion's triple giving the hosts a 21-12 lead.
Loyola led by as many as 13 in the opening half after a Walker layup made it 36-23. Despite having five players on the bench with two fouls each, the Bison closed within six at 38-32 on a Mackenzie 3-pointer, but Loyola finished the half on a 5-2 run to go back up by nine at the break.
Walker and James Fives (career-high 16 points) knocked down threes in a 15-5 run that pushed Loyola's lead up to 15 at 57-42 with 15:44 to go. But the Bison would hold the Greyhounds to one field goal over the next 7:22 to get back in the game.
Bucknell shot 52.7 percent from the field for the game, but was just 7-for-16 from the foul line. Loyola shot 54.7 percent and also struggled at the line, making 13 of 25. This was only the fifth time all season that a Bucknell opponent shot 50 percent or better, and the Bison are now 0-5 in those games.
Azzinaro had another terrific night off the bench for the Bison. He was 4-for-4 from 3-point range and is now 12-for-18 over his last five games.
This was an important win for Loyola (14-12, 8-7 PL). With Holy Cross and Colgate both losing, the Greyhounds snapped a three-way tie for fifth place and remained one game behind Lehigh for fourth. Loyola is now 9-2 at home this season, and it defeated Bucknell for the first time ever at Reitz Arena (1-7).
Bucknell returns to action Sunday at noon at Boston University. The game will air on CBS Sports Network live from Case Gym.