Loyola Hits Road Friday to Battle Niagara

January 27, 2012 | WNST Staff

Opponent Niagara Purple Eagles
Date Friday, January 27, 2012
Time 7:00 p.m.
Location Niagara University, N.Y. | ‘Taps’ Gallagher Center
TV | Radio Niagara Webstreaming
Series Record Niagara leads, 34-15
Last Meeting Niagara 66, Loyola 61 – Jan. 2, 2012 at Loyola

Game Data

The Greyhounds go on the road for a pair of games this weekend in Western New York, starting with a 7 o’clock tip-off at Niagara University on Friday, January 27.

Series History

Niagara handed Loyola its first MAAC loss of the season when the teams met on January 2, a 66-61 decision in Reitz Arena. Loyola overcame a 12-point Niagara lead to go up by four on two occasions in the second half, but the Purple Eagles held the Greyhounds scoreless for the last 3:24 of the game.

Erik Etherly put Loyola ahead 61-57 with a fast-break dunk at 3:35, but Juan’ya Green made a three just over a minute later, and Antoine Mason’s layup with 61 ticks left gave Niagara the lead for good.

The Purple Eagles lead the all-time series, 34-15, and have won 10 of the last 11 meetings between the teams. Loyola’s victory on February 25, 2011, at Niagara, snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Purple Eagles.

Filling In The Stat Sheet

Anthony Winbush gave the Greyhounds 26 solid minutes off the bench Sunday afternoon against Saint Peter’s, putting up good numbers in just about every statistical category.

The junior forward led all players with a career-high five assists, while he was 3-of-3 from the field and 3-of-3 from the free-throw line for a season-best nine points. He also had five rebounds, three on the offensive glass.

In Loyola’s last five games, in which the Greyhounds are 4-1, Winbush’s minutes per game have increased to 20.6, and his scoring is up to 5.2. He is also third on the team in that span with 4.4 rebounds per contest.

Post Presence

Erik Etherly provided a strong game in the paint versus Saint Peter’s, scoring 13 first-half points to help Loyola take a nine-point lead at the break.

The junior forward finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots, all game highs. He also was 9-of-12 from the free-throw line, matching his season-best for free throws made.

Last week, in a pair of Loyola wins, Etherly averaged 15.5 points and 10.0 rebounds after scoring 12 and pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds against Siena.

Through 19

Loyola’s 14-5 start through its first 19 games of the season ranks is tied for the third-best start during that many games in program history. It is the best 19-game start since the Greyhounds moved up to NCAA Division I for the 1981-1982 season, improving on the 11-8 mark that the 1984-1985 team put together.

The start is the best since 1970-1971 when Nap Doherty’s Greyhounds had the same 14-5 mark and went on to finish 19-7 and win the Mason-Dixon Conference Championship.

The best start through 19 games came in 1940-1941 when the squad led by Emil ‘Lefty’ Reitz went 16-3 through 19. The 1940-1941 team finished 19-4.

Good MAAC Start

With wins in seven of its first nine Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference games this season, Loyola is off to its best start in league play since opening 7-2 in 2006-2007. That year, the Greyhounds lost their conference opener and then reeled off seven in a row.

FG Percentage Getting It Done

While not the most glamorous mark in the box score, Loyola is 11-0 this season when it shoots 41.3-percent or better from the field. The Greyhounds have made less than 44-percent of their shots and won seven times this season.

As of Monday, the Greyhounds rank 251st out of 338 teams in NCAA Division I with a .415 field goal percentage, and they are one of just two teams (joining Robert Morris) to have 14 or more wins and rank 250 or higher in the category.

Brooks Builds Playing Time

Juilus Brooks had his most productive game of the season Sunday versus the Peacocks, playing 14 minutes, his most action of the year. Brooks tallied five points, making both of his field goals, and he was second on the team with six rebounds.

He pulled down four offensive rebounds, putting two back immediate for his pair of field goals, and he also blocked a shot.

Olson’s Last Five

After a stretch of not scoring in double figures for five consecutive games, Robert Olson has led Loyola in the points column over the last five.

The junior guard scored what was then a season-high 19 at Mount St. Mary’s, but in Loyola’s next five games  – at St. Bonaventure, Kentucky and Bucknell and home versus Niagara and Manhattan – Olson scored nine points twice and eight points three times.

Since then, however, his low total is 15, coming in a win at Fairfield where he scored seven points in a 23-second stretch with under two minutes left that took Loyola from down seven to tied and against Saint Peter’s.

Olson is averaging 16.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game during the recent stretch. He is shooting .580 from the field (29-of-50) and a more impressive .581 (18-of-31) from 3-point range.

During the five-game stretch, Olson has been particularly effective in the second half. He has scored 69.9-percent of his points (58-of-83) after halftime.

He scored a career-high 21 points last Sunday at Iona, making 8-of-13 shots and 5-of-8 from behind the arc. On Thursday night versus Siena, Olson tallied eight points during Loyola’s 22-2 run and finished with 16.

Stretch Run

Loyola used its largest run of the season to rally from seven down and defeat Siena, 66-55. The Saints took a 47-40 advantage with 10:35 to play, but a Dylon Cormier three 25 ticks of the clock later, after a Justin Drummond offensive rebound, sparked a 22-2 run that saw the Greyhounds take a 62-49 lead with under three minutes remaining.

Dylon Cormier and Robert Olson each scored eight points during the run, a stretch Loyola also turned up the defensive intensity. The Saints had seven turnovers in that nearly eight-minute run, and they were just 1-of-9 from the field as Loyola outscored them by 20.

Last Time Out

Erik Etherly scored 13 of his game-high 19 points in the first half and helped the Greyhounds take a 36-27 halftime advantage en route to a 65-54 win over Saint Peter’s. Robert Olson added 15 points, and Anthony Winbush tallied nine to go with five assists and five rebounds.

Loyola went on a 20-6 run that lasted most of the final eight minutes in the first half with Etherly scoring nine in that stretch.

Scoring Off Drummond’s Second Chances

Justin Drummond grabbed four offensive rebounds on Thursday, and the Greyhounds scored following each one. Drummond immediate put the ball back up and in after two of his rebounds for four of his nine points. He also kicked the ball out to R.J. Williams who found Dylon Cormier on the left side for a three after a long Drummond rebound with just over 10 minutes to left in the game.

Drummond also grabbed an offensive rebound after a missed free throw, and following a Loyola timeout, Robert Olson scored a driving layup with 54 seconds remaining. In all, the Greyhounds scored nine of their 17 second-chance points off Drummond rebounds.

Bench Press

Loyola played just three players – Julius Brooks, Justin Drummond and Anthony Winbush – off its bench on Thursday, but the Greyhounds outscored Siena’s subs, 17-0. Drummond scored nine, and Winbush matched his season-high with eight.

12 Plus 12 Equals Number 24

Erik Ethelry turned in a combined point-rebound performance worthy of his number 24 on Thursday night. He logged his seventh double-double of the year with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds versus the Saints.

Etherly, who also had three blocked shots and three steals, secured five of his rebounds on the offensive end.

Loyola is 6-1 this season when Etherly had a double-double performance, the only loss coming when Etherly had 14 points and 11 rebounds at then-No. 3 Kentucky.

In the Greyhounds’ last four games, dating back to the January 7 contest against Canisius, Etherly is averaging 12.8 points and 8.0 rebounds.

Identical Numbers In Sweep Of Saints

Loyola did not shoot the ball particularly well in either of its wins this season against Siena. In fact the Greyhounds had identical nights from the field, going 23-of-61 (.377) in both games.

Moreover, they scored 66 in both outings against the Saints. In December, the Greyhounds made eight 3-pointers versus Siena, compared to five on Thursday. But, on Thursday, they sank 15 free throws as opposed to 12 in Albany.

Rebounding Rejuvenated

Loyola was outrebounded by 15, its worst showing of the season, last Sunday at Iona, but the Greyhounds bounced back against Siena. The Saints feature the nation’s leading rebounder, O.D. Anosike, and while he had 11 boards, it was more than a full rebound below his average.

Anoskie accounted for 11 of Siena’s 29 rebounds, while Loyola had 40. Erik Ethelry pulled down 12 to lead all players, and Shane Walker grabbed seven. Three other Loyola players had four each.

All The Way Back

Loyola trailed by 15 points with 16:42 to play in the second half when two Keith Matthews free throws gave Fairfield a 45-30 lead last Friday night. The Greyhounds, however, outscored the Stags 36-18 from that point forward to win, 66-63.

The 15-point deficit overcome was the largest erased by a Loyola team since the Greyhounds came back from a 20-point Coppin State lead in the first half on December 10, 2008, to defeat the Eagles, 73-70.

Second In Road Wins

As of the beginning of the week, Loyola’s seven road wins have them tied for second in all of NCAA Division I for victories away from its home court.

Cleveland State leads the nation with eight, while the Greyhounds’ seven wins away from Reitz Arena are matched with fellow Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference side Iona, Lehigh, Middle Tennessee State, No. 15/14 Murray State, Oral Roberts and Wagner for the second place with seven.

The seven road wins also match Loyola’s total from all of last year when it was 7-8 away from home.

Olson Scores In Bunches

Robert Olson scored seven points in a 23-second stretch versus Fairfield, going on a 7-0 run by himself. Fairfield led 62-55 when Olson pulled up for an 18-foot jumper with 1:42 left in regulation. He then hit a shot with his foot on the 3-point line 15 ticks later to make it a 3-point Stags lead. The junior guard tied the game at 62-62 with 1:19 on the clock with a three from the right side.

Olson finished with 15 points, 13 coming in the second half. Earlier in the stanza, an Olson three at the 14:38 mark cut Fairfield’s largest lead of 15 to 12, and he then knocked one down with 10:04 on the clock.

It was the second game in a row Olson has scored seven-straight points in the second half. He went on a personal 7-0 run against Canisius to move Loyola’s lead back to 11 after the Golden Griffins cut it to four.

The second half has often been a big one for Olson. Last year, he scored nine points in 83 seconds to help defeat Morgan State, and against Iona in Baltimore, Olson made a three pointer with seven ticks of the clock left to tie and send the game to overtime. He then scored the game’s last four points to secure the victory.

Cormier’s Steals Help The Cause

Robert Olson’s 7-0 run would not have been possible if not for two Dylon Cormier steals in the backcourt. Cormier tied up Rakim Sanders on the inbound pass after Olson’s first bucket, creating a jump ball with the possession arrow in Loyola’s favor.

Cormier then stole the ball from Fairfield’s Derek Needham after Olson’s second jumper, and he fed a pass to Olson for the game-tying three.

Cormier was one off his career-high with four steals against the Stags. He set his career-best of five just one game prior, against Canisius.

With his nine steals in the Greyhounds’ last two games, Cormier has moved into the MAAC lead with 2.0 steals per game. Loyola tops the conference, averaging 8.6 a contest.

Cormier also tied his career-best with a team-high four assists against Fairfield.

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.

Walker now has 117 blocks in his career, matching the total of George Sereikas from 1989-1993. Brian Carroll (1997-2001) holds the school record with 213.

Everyone On The Offensive Boards

Loyola leads the MAAC in offensive rebounding as a team, averaging 14.4, more than a full offensive board a game higher than second-place Canisius (13.2).

Despite the team ranking, no Greyhounds player is higher than sixth in the conference in offensive rebounds per game. Erik Etherly is sixth with 2.6, while Justin Drummond is 10th with 2.3, just ahead of teammate Dylon Cormier in 13th.

No other league team has more than two players in the top 15 of the statistical category.

3-Point Shooting Back On Track

In its first MAAC loss of the season, a 66-61 defeat on January 2 against Niagara, the Greyhounds shot just 4-of-20 from 3-point range, its worst effort from behind the arc since going 2-of-14 at UMBC on November 17.

Loyola improved by 21 percentage points against Manhattan, going 7-of-17, and it then turned in its third-best 3-point shooting outing of the season on Saturday versus Canisius. The Greyhounds made 9-of-17 (.529), behind only their 6-of-11 (.545) at George Washington and 8-of-15 (.533) versus Marist. The Greyhounds were then .500 from 3-point range (7-of-14) against Fairfield.

Robert Olson and Dylon Cormier did most of the damage against the Golden Griffins and Stags. Olson was 7-of-11, and Cormier made 5-of-10.

Etherly As A Distributor

Against Niagara and Manhattan, Erik Etherly tied or set career-highs in assists, and the 6-foot-7 forward leads the team in assists through 15 games this year.

On Thursday against Manhattan, Etherly had a career-best seven assists, eclipsing his previous mark of four, a number he has posted twice this year, including Monday against Niagara.

This year, Etherly has 36 assists, an average of 2.4 per game, tops on the team. He also leads the Greyhounds in rebounds with 7.5 a contest, and he is the only player in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference to lead his team in both rebounds and assists.

Against the Jaspers, Etherly scored eight points and led all players with seven assists and six rebounds. He also had a block and a steal.

Keeping Them Close

For the third time this season, and the second time in three games, Loyola won a game in which neither team led by more than seven points. Manhattan’s largest advantage on Thursday was just four points, while the Greyhounds were never up by more than six.

At Bucknell on December 28, Loyola never led by more than five, and the Bison were only up three on occasions. In November, the Greyhounds defeated New Hampshire on the road in a contest separated by no more than seven.

This year, Loyola is 8-2 in games that are decided by 10 or fewer points.

Second Time With Twenty

Justin Drummond topped the 20-point plateau for the second time in four games when he led all players with 23 points on Monday night against Niagara. The 23 points were his second-most in a game during his career at Loyola, three behind the 26 he scored on December 18 at St. Bonaventure.

Drummond made 9-of-16 shots form the field and 4-of-5 from the line against the Purple Eagles.

Drummond also led all players Monday with nine rebounds and five offensive boards, and nine of his 23 points came as a direct result of his own offensive rebounds.


Loyola caused 20 Siena turnovers, and the Greyhounds were credited with 19 steals. R.J. Williams led the way with a career-high five, while Erik Etherly, Dylon Cormier and Robert Olson each had three.

The 19 steals are the second-most in school history, one more than the Greyhounds posted in a November 29, 1997, game at Kent State. It is also the most Loyola has recorded against a Division I opponent. The school single-game record of 20 came on February 28, 1996, when the team closed the regular-season against St. Mary’s (Md.).

Running Away

Runs have been a big part of the Greyhounds’ success this year. Here is a look at some runs of note:

Opponent Run Start Finish
Coppin State 10-1, 4:26 31-32, 1:36 (1) 41-33, 17:11 (2)
at UMBC 16-4, 8:08 35-31, 19:16 (2) 51-34, 11:08 (2)
FGCU 22-5, 6:53 15-16, 8:08 (1) 37-21, 1:11 (1)
Marist 9-0, 1:50 47-48, 11:16 (2) 56-48, 9:26 (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)
at The Mount 9-0, 1:55 24-26, 1:59 (1) 33-26, :04 (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)

Century Mark

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
2. 165 Nap Doherty 1961-1974
3. 112 Jimmy Patsos 2004-present
4. 85 Mark Amatucci 1982-1989
5. 72 Gary Dicovitsky 1976-1981

Two Of A Kind

Although unofficial, research shows that Jimmy Patsos is one of only two coaches in the last 20 years to take over 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.

Men’s & Women’s Coaches With 100

Loyola University Maryland is one of just 26 mid-major schools that has men’s and women’s basketball coaches with 100 or more victories at their current school after Greyhound women’s coach Joe Logan got his 100th on December 18 in a win at George Washington.

Loyola is the only school in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference to have accomplished the feat, and it is one of only five institutions at which the coaches have both won 100 or more games in 10 or fewer seasons.

Getting To The Line

As a team, Loyola went to the free-throw line 46 times at UMBC, making 31. The 46 attempts are the sixth-most all-time and most since the 2004-2005 squad attempted 53 on December 5, 2004, against Niagara.

Loyola’s 31 free throws made rank 11th on the school single-game chart and were the most since making 32 on January 14, 2009, versus NJIT.

Although his shot was not falling at UMBC, Dylon Cormier still found ways to be productive on the offensive end of the floor. The sophomore guard was just 2-of-9 from the field, but he went to the free-throw line 17 times, making 15, and finished with 20 points.

Cormier’s 15 free throws made are tied for sixth in Loyola single-game history, matching the total made by Mike Powell at Saint Peter’s on December 6, 1997, and Donovan Thomas against Marist on February 23, 2003. The 15 makes were the most by a Loyola player since Jamal Barney set the school record with 18 on January 14, 2009, against NJIT. His 17 attempts rank tied for sixth all-time.

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.

What’s Next

Loyola continues its road swing through the Buffalo area on Sunday, January 29, when it takes on Canisius College at 2:15 p.m.

The Greyhounds return to Reitz Arena on Friday, February 3, for a 7 o’clock contest against Rider University that will be aired nationally on ESPNU.