Loyola Looks to Continue Hot Start Sunday at Canisius

January 29, 2012 | WNST Staff

Opponent Canisius Golden Griffins
Date Sunday, January 29, 2012
Time 2:15 p.m.
Location Buffalo, N.Y. | Koessler Athletic Center
TV | Radio Canisius Webstreaming
Series Record Canisius leads, 34-21
Last Meeting Loyola 77, Canisius 62 – Jan. 7, 2012 at Loyola

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland wraps up its swing through Western New York on Sunday afternoon, January 29, 2012, when it plays Canisius College at 2:15 p.m. The game is the second of a doubleheader following the Golden Griffins women and Rider University.

Series History

Loyola and Canisius will meet for the 56th time in series history on Sunday. The Golden Griffins hold a 34-21 advantage in the series after Loyola won the first meeting earlier this year.

The Greyhounds defeated Canisius, 77-62, on January 7 in Baltimore when Robert Olson scored seven straight points after the Golden Griffins had cut their deficit to just four with more than 10 minutes to play. Olson had 16 points, and Dylon Cormier scored 23 for Loyola.

Both teams won on their home court last year with the Greyhounds defeating Canisius, 72-57, on February 13, 2011, behind 22 points from Justin Drummond and 18 from Erik Etherly. The Golden Griffins returned the favor, topping Loyola, 75-58, 14 days later in Buffalo.

Jesuit Basketball Spotlight

Sunday’s Canisius is the fourth of six games the Greyhounds play this season as part of the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight.

As one of 28 Jesuit Catholic universities around the nation, Loyola is a proud participant in the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight again this season. The Greyhounds are 3-0 in Jesuit Basketball Spotlight games this season with wins over Canisius, Fairfield and Saint Peter’s.

Drummond Seeing Purple

Justin Drummond had his third 20-plus point game of the season and second versus Niagara on Friday night when he scored 21, 17 coming in the second half.

Drummond was 5-of-11 from the field and made 11-of-12 at the free-throw line. He also had a career-high four steals.

This season, he is 14-of-27 from the field and has scored 44 points in two games versus the Purple Eagles. He also has averaged six rebounds in the two meetings.

Etherly At Gallagher

Erik Etherly is another Loyola player who has seen success in recent games against Niagara.  The junior forward has played twice at the Gallagher Center, averaging 18.5 points in the Loyola victories each of the last two seasons.

Highs And Lows Of Rebounding

Loyola experienced highs and lows of rebounding in its game Friday night, recording its season-low in offensive rebounds with just four. However, the Greyhounds countered by matching their season-high with 29 defensive rebounds.

Some of Loyola’s lack of offensive rebounds was due to good shooting. The Greyhounds shot 52.5-percent from the field, and they missed only five shots in the second half.

In And Out Of The Lineup

Jordan Latham returned to the Loyola rotation for the first time since December 28 at Bucknell after missing seven games following a foot injury prior to the January 2 game. Latham entered the game with 13:05 to go in the first half and 16 seconds later blocked a shot. He played 15 minutes and finished with two blocks.

On the other hand, Dylon Cormier did not start for the first time in his college career and was also held scoreless for the first time. Cormier was injured in practice earlier this week and did not play in the first half against Niagara.

Fastest To 15

Loyola’s win over Niagara was the Greyhounds’ 15th of the season, marking their fastest path to 15 victories since joining Division I for the 1981-1982 season. The Greyhounds’ arrival at 15 wins came by a wide margin over the previous best.

The 2006-2007 squad, which was Jimmy Patsos’ third at the school, set the previous standard, reaching 15 wins in 26 games, six more than this year’s team.

Through 20

Loyola’s 15-5 start through its first 20 games of the season ranks is tied for the third-best start during that many games in program history. The start is the best since 1970-1971 when Nap Doherty’s Greyhounds had the same 15-5 mark and went on to finish 19-7 and win the Mason-Dixon Conference Championship.

The best start through 20 games came in 1940-1941 when the squad led by Emil ‘Lefty’ Reitz went 17-3 through 20. The 1940-1941 team finished 19-4.

Good MAAC Start

With wins in eight of its first 10 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference games this season, Loyola is off to its best start in league play since joining the league in 1989-1990. The Greyhounds’ previous best MAAC start was 7-3 in both 2006-2007 and 2007-2008.

Etherly’s Last Six

Erik Etherly continued his solid play of late with 18 points in Friday night’s victory at Niagara. The game marked the third time in the Greyhounds’ last five that he has scored 17 or more points, and he boosted his six-game scoring average to 14.7.

Etherly also has averaged 8.0 rebounds, as well, during the stretch that dates back to the Greyhounds’ first meeting with Canisius on January 7.

The junior forward finished last Sunday’s game against Saint Peter’s 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.

Sharper Shooting

Loyola recorded its second-best shooting performance of the season Friday night at Niagara, finishing the game 21-of-40, a 52.5-percent clip. The number was buoyed significantly by an 11-of-16, 68.8-percent, mark in the second half.

The Greyhounds’ second-half numbers represented their best 20 minutes of the season. Meanwhile, Loyola made 80-percent (24-of-30) of its free throws, as well, on Friday night, their best free-throw shooting performance of the season.

Sharing The Rock

R.J. Williams finished Friday night with a career-high seven assists, half of the Greyhounds’ 14, eclipsing his previous best of six that came on December 1, 2011, against Marist.

Williams also scored eight points, five in the second half. Williams finished 4-of-6 at the free-throw line, going 3-of-4 in the last two minutes of action.

Last Time Out

Niagara took a 46-44 lead on an Antoine Mason three with 8:06 to play, but the Greyhounds went on a 15-2 run to lead by 11 on two Justin Drummond free throws with 1:58 on the clock. The Greyhounds went 9-of-11 from the foul line in the last two minutes to secure a 69-57 victory.

Drummond finished with 21 points, and Erik Ethelry added 18, and Robert Olson chipped in 11. Drummond had a career-high four steals, and R.J. Williams contributed a career-best seven assists to go with eight points.

Olson’s Last six

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 six.

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 11, coming Friday at Niagara. Olson is averaging 15.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game during the recent stretch. He is shooting .571 from the field (32-of-56) and a more impressive .555 (20-of-36) from 3-point range.

During the five-game stretch, Olson has been particularly effective in the second half.

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.

Filling In The Stat Sheet

Anthony Winbush gave the Greyhounds 26 solid minutes off the bench last 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.

FG Percentage Getting It Done

While not the most glamorous mark in the box score, Loyola is 12-0 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 ranked 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.

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.

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.

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 on January 13. 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 had 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.

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.

With a pair of blocks against Niagara, Walker now has 119 blocks in his career and is all alone in second place. 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 13.9, nearly a full rebound more per game that second-place Canisius (13.2).

Despite the team ranking, no Greyhounds player is higher than seventh in the conference in offensive rebounds per game. Erik Etherly is seventh with 2.5, while Justin Drummond is 13th with 2.2, just ahead of teammate Dylon Cormier in 14th.

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.

Thievery

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)
at Niagara 15-2, 5:42 44-46, 7:48 (2) 59-48, 1:58 (2)

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. 113 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

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.

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