|Opponent||MAAC Championship – Fairfield Stags|
|Date||Monday, March 5, 2012|
|Location||Springfield, Mass. | MassMutual Center|
|Series Record||Fairfield leads, 36-16|
|Last Meeting||Fairfield 58, Loyola 51 – Feb. 10, 2012 at Loyola|
Loyola University Maryland will make its second appearance in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Game, and its first since March 7, 1994, when it takes on Fairfield University on Monday, March 5, at 7 o’clock.
Springfield, Mass., and the MassMutual Center will host all games in the tournament.
Watch Or Listen
The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 with Bob Wischusen calling the play-by-play and Len Elmore providing the analysis. It will also be broadcast worldwide on ESPN3.com.
Been A Little While
Loyola is making its first trip to the MAAC Championship Game in 18 seasons, a span of 17 years, 11 months and 27 days. In all, it will have been 6,573 days between MAAC Championship Games for the Greyhounds.
This year’s freshmen – Tyler Hubbard and R.J. Williams – were less than one year old the last time Loyola played in the title match.
MAAC Championships History
Loyola is competing in the MAAC Championships for the 23rd year. The Greyhounds are 10-21 all-time in the championships.
Sunday was just Loyola fifth trip to the MAAC semifinals, joining the teams from 1994, 1998, 2007 and 2008. The Greyhounds are now 2-3 all-time in the semifinals.
The Greyhounds won their only MAAC Championship Game appearance, as the late Skip Prosser coached Loyola to an 80-75 win over Manhattan.
Loyola and Fairfield will meet for the 53rd time on the hardwood Monday night with the Stags entering the game with a 36-16 advantage in the previous meetings.
The teams split the regular-season meetings with each winning on the other’s home court.
Fairfield defeated Loyola, 68-51, when the Stags visited Reitz Arena on February 12. Four Stag starters scored in double figures, led by Rakim Sanders’ 13. Robert Olson and Erik Etherly both finished with 17 for the Greyhounds.
The Greyhounds won the first meeting between the two, 66-63, on January 13, at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn. Loyola rallied form a 15-point halftime deficit in the second half to win.. The Greyhounds trailed by seven with 2:07 left when Olson scored seven in a row to tie the game with 1:19 to go. Five of his points came as the direct result of Dylon Cormier steals in the backcourt. Etherly led all players with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Olson finished with 15, Cormier added 12, and Justin Drummond scored 10. Sanders had 17 for Fairfield.
Hitting 21 Twice
Erik Etherly has posted back-to-back 20-point games for the first time in his career over the Greyhounds two MAAC Championships games. He finished with 21 against both Niagara and Siena, leading Loyola against the Saints.
In the two games, Etherly has made 16-of-26 (.615) field goals and 9-of-12 (.750) from the foul line. On Sunday against Siena, Etherly drained the third 3-pointer of his collegiate career, all this season, with the shot clock winding down on a second-half possession.
Loyola recorded its best shooting performance of the season on Saturday night against Niagara, going 29-of-46 from the floor, good for 63-percent.
The outing was 10 percentage points better than the Greyhounds’ previous best this season when they shot 52.9-percent from the field (27-of-51) at Bucknell on December 28, 2011.
Loyola’s 29 field goals made were its second-most of the year, behind the 32 it made on February 10 against Iona.
The Greyhounds continued their good shooting in the MAAC Semifinal against Siena, making 50.9-percent of their shots (27-of-53). Loyola also converted on 7-of-13 3-pointers, for its second-best 3-point percentage of the season, 53.8-percent.
Sharing The Rock
Loyola matched its season-high with 18 assists against Siena, tying the mark it posted in two games against Canisius and in a non-conference game versus Florida Gulf Coast, all Greyhound wins.
Three Loyola players – Robert Olson (6), R.J. Williams (5) and Anthony Winbush (3) – combined for 14 of the assists.
Olson’s six were a career-best, and it brought his MAAC Championships total to five after he matched his previous career-high with five in the quarterfinal.
The Greyhounds improved to 8-0 this season when Williams has four or more assists.
Big Buckets By Bush
Anthony Winbush has scored only nine points in the Greyhounds’ two MAAC Championships games, but three of his field goals have come at critical junctures in the victories.
On Sunday, he tallied Loyola’s fifth and sixth points of the game, scoring in the paint at 12:13 to stop an 11-0 Siena run that had the Saints ahead 11-4. He then made a jumper at 6:31 that put the Greyhounds ahead 17-16 in the first half.
In Friday night’s victory, Winbush’s first half basket with 2:32 on the clock broke a 31-31 tie.
Stretch Of Threes
When Kyle Downey cut through the lane and laid in a basket with 16:42 to go in regulation, it pulled Siena within three, 32-29. Robert Olson responded for the Greyhounds, however, knocking down a three at 16:25 that started a 12-4 Greyhounds run that saw the Greyhounds go 4-of-4 from 3-point range.
Dylon Cormier and Shane Walker each hit threes during the span, and Olson capped it with a three off the dribble at 14:12, making Loyola’s lead 44-33.
Against The Nation’s Leading Rebounder
Loyola held Siena’s O.D. Anosike, the leading rebounder in NCAA Division I, to a season-low five boards. It was just the fourth time this season Anoskie, who entered the game averaging 12.8 rebounds per game, was held to single-digits on the glass. His previous low this season was eight.
Last Time Out
Siena, which led by eight early in the first half, cut Loyola’s second-half advantage to 32-29 on a Kyle Downey layup, but Robert Olson hit a three on the ensuing possession, triggering a 12-4 Loyola run that saw the Greyhounds make four-straight threes.
The Saints got within seven at two points after Olson’s second three capped the run, but they could not draw closer.
Erik Etherly led all scorers with 21 points, and three other Greyhounds joined him in double-figures. Shane Walker and Robert Olson each had 12 points, and Justin Drummond added 10.
Cormier & Etherly Over 20
For the third time this season, Dylon Cormier and Erik Etherly both eclipsed the 20-point mark in the same game. Cormier finished with a game-high 23, and Etherly had 21.
The duo previously topped 20 together at UMBC and at home against Iona, both Greyhounds’ wins. Etherly now has four 20-point games this season after tallying 21 against Siena. Cormier has hit the plateau eight times this year.
Shane Walker notched his third double-double of the season on Saturday night, going for 13 points and 12 rebounds. He scored nine of his points in the first half, scoring seven of Loyola’s first nine points of the game. He also had four assists and blocked two shots in 37 minutes of action.
Bouncing Back From Three
It took over 22 minutes of game action against Niagara, but the Greyhounds hit their first 3-pointer since Justin Drummond made one with 7:59 to play at Rider on Friday, February 24. The Greyhounds snapped a streak of 331 games with at least one 3-pointer last Sunday when they went 0-of-8 against Manhattan.
In all, the Greyhounds went more than 70 minutes without sinking a three until Dylon Cormier hit one with 17:51 to play in regulation. That shot also gave Loyola the lead for good in the game.
Loyola broke out of the slump in the second half, going 5-of-7 from behind the arc after the break.
First Time As A Two
Loyola entered the MAAC Championships as a No. 2 seed for the first time in 23 trips to the tournament. Prior to this year, the Greyhounds had never been higher than a three seed, the slot they held in 2006-2007.
Best MAAC Finish
Loyola defeated Manhattan last Sunday afternoon to earn its 13th Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory of the season, setting a program record in the process.
The Greyhounds twice finished their MAAC schedule 12-6 (2006-2007 and 2007-2008), a game shy of this year’s record.
Loyola also finished alone in second place in the conference standings, improving on its previous best finish when it tied for second with a 10-4 league mark in 1996-1997.
The Greyhounds’ victory over Boston University on February 19 was their 20th of the season, setting a school Division I record.
Loyola, which moved to NCAA Division I in 1981-1982, had won 19 games in 2007-2008 and 18 in 2006-2007.
The overall school record for victories, 25, game in 1948-1949.
Patsos Named Coach Of The Year
On Thursday night, Jimmy Patsos became the first Loyola coach to earn The Rock/Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors by a vote of his peers in the league.
Patsos has guided the Greyhounds to a school Division I high 23 wins and a program MAAC record 13 victories. He earned his 100th career coaching victory in November and led the Greyhounds to the No. 2 seed in the MAAC Championships.
Drummond Picks Up 6th Man Award
Justin Drummond became the fifth Loyola player to earn MAAC 6th Man Of the Year honors in the last eight seasons when he picked up the award on Thursday night. He led all bench players in the league with 11.1 points, fourth on the team, and he was third on the squad with 4.2 rebounds per game.
Drummond joins Charlie Bell (2005), Michael Tuck (2007), Marquis Sullivan (2008) and J’hared Hall (2011) as Jimmy Patsos-coached players to win the award.
For the first time since the league expanded to three All-MAAC teams in 1998, four Greyhounds received all-league honors, topping all teams in the conference. Erik Etherly was named to the All-MAAC First Team, Dylon Cormier to the Second, and Justin Drummond and Robert Olson to the Third.
Loyola led all teams in the MAAC with its four selections, just in front of Iona’s three.
The Greyhounds’ previous high was at the end of the 1997-1998 season when Mike Powell (1st), Jason Rowe (2nd) and Roderick Platt (3rd) earned All-MAAC honors.
Etherly led Loyola in scoring (13.3) and rebounding (7.4) during conference play, and he is second overall on the team with 13.4 points per game. He also is tied for fourth in the league with teammate Shane Walker with 39 blocked shots, and he is fourth in field-goal percentage (.540).
Cormier has led the team throughout the season in scoring with a 13.9 points, and he has shot 46.5-percent from the field. Cormier is third in the conference with 1.7 steals per game, and he has topped the 20-point mark eight times this year.
Drummond has come off the bench in 26 of the Greyhounds’ 30 games this year and is fourth on the team with 11.1 points per game. The guard is also third in rebounding (4.2). He has scored in double figures 15 times this year.
Olson has been one of the top 3-point shooters in the conference this year. He has shot .440 from behind the arc, second-best in the MAAC, and has averaged 11.3 points per game. The junior guard entered the month of January averaging less than nine points per game, but since then he has been the team’s second-leading scorer at nearly 13 a contest.
More Than 60 Years
The last time the Loyola men’s basketball program won 20 games in a season, 1948-1949, the following things were going on in the world, 63 years ago:
Harry Truman began his first full term as President of the United States.
Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman premiered on Broadway.
NATO was formed.
The Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League merged to form the NBA.
The first jet-powered airliner, the de Havilland Comet, took flight.
Billy Joel, Joe Theismann, Bruce Springsteen & Meryl Streep were born.
Milestones And Firsts
Loyola has accomplished several milestones and firsts throughout the 2011-2012 season. Here is a sample of a few:
First 20-win season in Division I history.
Program MAAC record with 13 league wins and best conference finish (2nd).
Tied school Division I record with eight non-conference wins (1993-1994).
Longest winning streak in school Division I history (8, Nov. 14-Dec. 10). Also, second longest winning streak in D-I history (7, Jan. 19-Feb. 10).
First back-to-back sellouts of Reitz Arena since the venue opened in 1984 (Feb. 3 and 10).
Snapped Bucknell’s 18-game home court winning streak.
Winning Without A Three
Loyola completed a rare accomplishment at Manhattan, defeating the Jaspers despite not making a 3-pointer in the game. The Greyhounds attempted just eight from behind the arc.
The last time the Greyhounds won a game without making a 3-pointer was February 27, 1996, when they defeated Siena, 67-53, in Reitz Arena, a span of 438 games. Loyola was 0-of-9 in that win over the Saints.
No Starters In Double-Figures
Loyola also won the Manhattan game without a starter in double-figures. Dylon Cormier and Erik Etherly each scored nine from the starting line, but Justin Drummond (13) and Anthony Winbush (12) scored 25 of the Greyhounds’ 29 bench points in the win.
The last time no starters scored in double figures was on November 24, 2010, when the Greyhounds lost 51-48 at Vermont.
It was the first time Loyola had won a MAAC game without having a starter score 10 or more, going back to the 1989-1990 season when the Greyhounds joined the conference.
The February 26 win at Manhattan was the third time this season that the Greyhounds came back from a 10-plus goal deficit to win. Manhattan led by 11 four times, including with 11:36 in the second half. The Greyhounds also rallied form 15-point deficits to defeat Boston University at home and Fairfield on the road.
Loyola overcame a low scoring afternoon in the Manhattan win when just two players, Justin Drummond (13) and Anthony Winbush (12) topped 10 points.
Loyola is 11-2 this season when four or more players score in double figures, and prior to the defeat at Rider, it had not lost since the season-opener on November 11 at Wake Forest. The Greyhounds are also 21-3 when three or more players top 10.
Transversely, the Greyhounds are just 2-5 when two or fewer players tally 10 or more with their only wins coming on December 7 at George Washington and at Manhattan.
45-Percent Or Better
Loyola improved to 13-1 this season when shooting 45.0-percent or better from the field with its win over Siena. The only loss the Greyhounds have suffered when shooting that mark or better was on February 24 when they went 25-of-55 (.455) from the field at Rider and lost by four.
Loyola’s three most recent losses underscored the importance for the Greyhounds of capitalizing on a few areas of the box score. Seven of Loyola’s eight losses have come when scoring fewer transition points – and the eighth loss was in a game that the teams tied in the category – than its opponents.
The Greyhounds also dropped to 2-6 this year in the eight games they have shot fewer free throws than their opponents, compared to 19-2 when shooting more.
Loyola is also 4-8 when its opponents have a better field-goal percentage, compared to 18-0 when the Greyhounds shoot at a better clip.
Leading The Charge
Robert Olson and Erik Etherly paced the Greyhounds in their 18 MAAC games as the top two scorers. Etherly again is slightly ahead of Olson, scoring-wise, tallying 239 (13.3 per game) points to Olson’s 225 (12.5).The duo shot 48.6-percent from the field (159-of-327) during league play, and Olson was 42-of-94 (.447) from 3-point range.
Olson’s Last 16
Robert Olson entered the month of January averaging 8.9 points per game through Loyola’s first 11, and he stayed right on that track in the first two games of 2012, scoring a combined 17.
Since then, however, he has averaged 13.2 points per game, starting with a 16-point game on January 7 against Canisius. The game against the Golden Griffins started a stretch of 11-straight in which Olson scored 11 or more points and had 15 or more seven times. During the last 15 games, Olson has shot 75-of-150, 50.0-percent, from the field and 45-of-94 (.478) from behind the 3-point line.
Against Niagara, he hit two threes and moved into sole possession of 10th on the single-season threes list at Loyola.. His 136 career threes are sixth in school history.
Six Under Sixty
For the first time in its NCAA Division I history (since 1981-1982), Loyola held six consecutive opponents to fewer than 60 points.
During the span, all Loyola victories, the Greyhounds have held Siena, Saint Peter’s (twice), Niagara, Canisius and Rider to an average of 53.2 points per game.
The Greyhounds previously had held three teams to sub-60 performances just once since joining Division I, and that came during 1981-1982, their first season at this level.
The last time a Loyola team held six-straight teams under 60, regardless of division, came in January-February 1977 when it held six teams in a row – Southampton, Saint Peter’s, Randolph-Macon, Mount St. Mary’s, Baltimore and Philadelphia Textile – to 59 or fewer. The Greyhounds, however, were just 3-3 in that stretch.
Walker Moves Into Second
Shane Walker blocked two Fairfield shots in the first three minutes of the game, and he then swatted a Maurice Barrow layup with 13:58 on the clock, tying him for second all-time at Loyola in blocked shots. He now has 130 in his career, second all-time.
Runs have been a big part of the Greyhounds’ success this year. Here is a look at some runs of note:
|at UMBC||16-4, 8:08||35-31, 19:16 (2)||51-34, 11:08 (2)|
|Marist||15-3, 5:47||61-57, 6:03 (2)||76-60, :16 (2)|
|at Siena||13-0; 4:27||0-2, 19:28 (1)||13-2; 15:35 (1)|
|Canisius||18-4, 10:14||57-53, 10:14 (2)||75-57, 2:11 (2)|
|at Fairfield||36-21, 16:42||30-45, 16:42 (2)||66-63, Final|
|Siena||22-2, 7:36||40-47, 10:35 (2)||62-49, 2:49 (2)|
|Saint Peter’s||20-5, 8:13||15-20, 8:55 (1)||35-25, :48 (1)|
|at Niagara||15-2, 5:42||44-46, 7:48 (2)||59-48, 1:58 (2)|
|at Canisius||24-2, 12:04||16-22, 8:02 (1)||40-24, 15:58 (2)|
|Rider||18-0, 8:06||6-5, 16:50 (1)||24-5, 8:55 (2)|
|Iona||36-17, 12:50||11-10, 13:40 (1)||47-28, 00:50 (1)|
|Boston U.||16-3, 4:37||34-34, 16:05 (2)||50-37, 11:28 (2)|
Head Coach Jimmy Patsos became the third coach in Loyola history to win 100 games when the Greyhounds defeated UMBC, 73-63, on the road. Patsos, who is in his eighth season, took over a team that finished 1-27 during the 2002-2003 season. He won his 100th game in his 215th career game.
Last season, Patsos moved into third-place all time at Loyola in victories, trailing only Lefty Reitz (349 wins, 1937-44, 1945-61) and Nap Doherty (165, 1961-74).
|Loyola All-Time Coaching Wins List|
|1.||349||Lefty Reitz||1937-1944, 1945-1961|
Two Of A Kind
Although unofficial, research shows that Jimmy Patsos is one of only two coaches in the last 20 years to take a team that won just one game the year prior to his arrival.
Brigham Young finished the 1996-1997 season with a 1-25 record. Steve Cleveland took over the following season and tallied 138 wins until his departure for Fresno State after the 2004-2005 season.
Baltimore Bred And More From Nearby
Since taking over as head coach in 2004, Jimmy Patsos has put an emphasis on recruiting locally, and it has never shown as much as on this year’s roster. Three players – sophomore guard Dylon Cormier (Cardinal Gibbons), sophomore forward Jordan Latham (City) and freshman guard R.J. Williams (St. Frances) are products of schools within the city limits.
Six more players played in high school within 50 miles of Loyola, as the crow flies (thanks daftlogic.com): Shane Walker & Tyler Hubbard, Montrose Christian, 32.6 miles; Robert Olson, Georgetown Prep, 33.9; Justin Drummond, Riverdale Baptist, 33.9; Anthony Winbush, T.C. Williams, 43.7; and Erik Etherly, Annandale, 47.9.