Loyola Tries to Continue Hot MAAC Start Friday at Fairfield

January 13, 2012 | WNST Staff

Opponent Fairfield Stags
Date Friday, January 13, 2012
Time 9:00 p.m.
Location Bridgeport, Conn. | Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard
TV/Radio ESPNU (Doug Sherman, PxP; Tim O’Toole, Color)
Series Record Fairfield leads, 35-15
Last Meeting Loyola 66, Fairfield 65 – Jan. 14, 2011  at Loyola

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland returns to the road for the first of two games this weekend when it takes on Fairfield University on Friday, January 13, at 9 p.m., in Bridgeport, Conn.

The game will be played at Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard, the site of last year’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships.

On The Tube

Loyola and Fairfield will play Friday in front of a national television audience. The game will be broadcast ESPNU as part of ESPNU College Basketball Built by the Home Depot. Doug Sherman will handle play-by-play duties, and he will be joined by Tim O’Toole who will provide color analysis.

The game is the seventh Loyola has played on television this season, and it is the first of at least four the Greyhounds will play during league action.

Jesuit Basketball Spotlight

Loyola’s game against Fairfield is the second of six games the Greyhounds will 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 defeated Canisius in its last game, and in addition to today’s game, they will also face fellow MAAC Jesuits Fairfield (home, February 12) and Saint Peter’s (home, January 22; away, February 5) and Canisius (away, January 29).

Go to www.ajcunet.edu/jesuitbasketball for more information on the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight.

Series History

Loyola and Fairfield will meet for the 51st time on Friday with the Stags holding a 35-15 advantage.

The teams split a pair of games last season, each winning on its home floor. The Greyhounds edged Fairfield in a 66-65 thriller on January 14, 2011. J’hared Hall had 17 points off the Loyola bench and knocked down the go-ahead 3-pointer with just over two minutes left to break a 61-61 tie.

Fairfield defeated Loyola, 65-55, on December 5, 2010, the Greyhounds’ most recent trip to Harbor Yard.

Good MAAC Start

With wins in four of its five Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference games this season, Loyola is off to its best start in league play since opening 7-1 in 2006-2007. That year, the Greyhounds lost their conference opener and then reeled off seven in a row.

The 4-1 mark is tied for the best start to MAAC play through five games, matching that of the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 teams.

Through 15

Loyola’s 11-4 start through its first 15 games of the season ranks as the fourth best start during in that many games in program history. It is the best 15-game start since the Greyhounds moved up to NCAA Division I for the 1981-1982 season, improving on the 10-5 mark that Jimmy Patsos’ 2005-2006 team put together.

The start is the best since 1970-1971 when Nap Doherty’s Greyhounds had the same 11-4 mark and went on to finish 19-7 and win the Mason-Dixon Conference Championship.

The best start through 15 games came in 1930-1931 when the team coached by Walter Comerford played just 15 total games and finished the year 14-1. Two squads led by Emil ‘Lefty’ Reitz went 12-3 through 15. The 1940-1941 team finished 19-4, and the following year’s team ended the season 18-4 as Mason-Dixon champions.

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.

Robert Olson and Dylon Cormier did most of the damage against the Golden Griffins. Olson as 4-of-6, and Cormier made 3-of-5.

Olson On A Roll

Much of Loyola’s improved 3-point shooting over its last two games is thanks to Robert Olson. Entering last Thursday’s game against Manhattan, Olson had made just 4-of-18 threes (.222) dating back to the December 18 game at St. Bonaventure.

He was 3-of-3 versus the Jaspers, making all three in the second half, and he then made his first three from downtown against Canisius, finishing the game 4-of-6 against the Golden Griffins.

Olson leads Loyola with 23 3-pointers made this season and a .397 3-point field goal percentage.

Picking Up Where He Left Off

Last Thursday against Manhattan, Dylon Cormier was mired in a stretch of 115 minutes, 46 seconds without making a 3-pointer before he hit the game-winning trey with 3.1 seconds left to give the Greyhounds a 61-60 victory.

Prior to that shot, he had missed his last 10 3-point attempts: his last three at Bucknell, all five against Niagara and his first two versus Manhattan.

The game-winner sparked Cormier who went 3-of-5 from 3-point range and finisehd 8-of-13 from the field in the win over Canisius. He scored a game-high 23 points for his fifth 20-plus point effort of the season and sixth of his career. Cormier scored 16 of his points in the second half and was 6-of-10 from the field after the break.

Career Assist Day, Too

In addition to his 23 points, Cormier recorded a career-high five assists versus Canisius, helping Loyola to a season-best 18 helpers in the game. More impressively, Cormier did not commit a turnover in 32 minutes of action against the Golden Griffins.

Doing The Little Things

Anthony Winbush saw 25 minutes of action on Saturday against Canisius, and although he scored only four points, he come up big for the Greyhounds in several other areas.

Winbush pulled down six rebounds versus the Golden Griffins and played on both the perimeter and in the post for the Greyhounds.

Dominating On The Boards

All five Loyola players who saw 15 minutes or more of action against Canisius had four or more rebounds, and four had five or greater. The Greyhounds controlled a 42-24 advantage on the boards, and they allowed Canisius just six offensive rebounds while collecting 16 of their own.

Erik Etherly led the way with seven boards, while Dylon Cormier and Anthony Winbush each had six.

Loyola had 16 offensive rebounds in the game and scored 20 second-chance points.

Shooting In A Critical Stretch

Canisius cut Loyola’s one-time 15-point lead to just four with 10:14 to play, but Robert Olson scored the next seven points, and Dylon Cormier added a three after a Golden Griffins’ bucket to put Loyola up 12.

During the stretch, the Greyhounds made all four of its shots, while the Loyola defense held Canisius to 1-of-5 from the field. Loyola did not give up an offensive rebound during that span, and the Golden Griffins had just two second-chance opportunities in the entire second half.

Last Time Out

Dylon Cormier and Robert Olson combined to score 39 points, 10 of them during a 10-2 Greyhounds run that extended a four-point advantage to 11 late in the game.

Canisius, which trailed by 15 after an Anthony Winbush offensive rebound and putback, cut the Greyhounds’ lead to four, on an Alshwan Hymes three with 10:14 to play. The Golden Griffins had a chance to make it a two-point game on their next possession, but Harold Washington’s jumper went off the mark.

Olson scored the next seven points, his three pushing the Loyola lead to 64-53 with 7:28 to go before Washington momentarily stemmed the tide with a bucket at 7:11. Cormier, however, knocked down a three for Loyola to put its lead in double digits for good in a 77-62 win.

R.J. Steps Up Scoring

R.J. Williams scored Loyola’s first five points last Thursday night against Manhattan, a modest accomplishment, but the freshman point guard finished with a career-high 11 points.

He tallied nine in the first half, leading all scorers, to help the Greyhounds take a 31-30 advantage at the break. The 11 points eclipsed his previous best of eight that he tallied in back-to-back games against Florida Gulf Coast and Marist.

Williams is averaging 4.1 points per game, but in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference contests, his points per game mark rises to more than six.

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.

Closing In On Second

After recording three blocks against Manhattan and seven in the Greyhounds’ last three games –  also three at Bucknell and one against Niagara – Shane Walker has moved closer to second place all-time at Loyola in career blocked shots.

With 114 during his three-year tenure as a Greyhound, Walker is three swats from tying George Sereikas (1989-1993) for second with 117. Brian Carroll (1997-2001) is the all-time leader with 213.

Walker leads the Greyhounds with 21 blocks this season and is sixth in the MAAC, averaging 1.5 per game.

Meanwhile, teammate Erik Etherly has moved into the school’s all-time top 10 and is tied for ninth with Michael Tuck (2003-2008) with 51.

Finding An Old Form

The Greyhounds were encouraged by the contributions against Manhattan of senior co-captain J’hared Hall who made a pair of 3-pointers off the bench, one in each half. The treys were the first and second of the season for Hall who was the MAAC Sixth Player of the Year in 2010-2011.

After not playing in either of the last two games, Hall scored six in six minutes off the bench against Manhattan, a team he hit six 3-pointers in a game against last season.

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.

Statistics Don’t Matter If You Are Winning

Our of 13 individual statistical categories listed by the MAAC, Loyola players appear in the top five of just four: Erik Etherly (field-goal percentage and offensive rebounds) and Dylon Cormier (points per game and steals).

The Greyhounds, however, have several players in the top 15 of most categories, accentuating the balanced nature of the team statistically.

Everyone On The Offensive Boards

Loyola leads the MAAC in offensive rebounding as a team, averaging 14.6, more than a full offensive board a game higher than second-place Niagara (13.3).

Despite the team ranking, no Greyhounds player is higher than eighth in the conference in offensive rebounds per game. Erik Etherly is 11th with 2.5, while Dylon Cormier is ninth with 2.4, and Justin Drummond is 11th at 2.3.

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

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.

Nine Is Fine

The Greyhounds’ victory at Bucknell was their ninth of the season, setting a program standard for wins before the calendar year turns.

Loyola’s previous best for wins in November and December was seven, a number Jimmy Patsos-led teams totaled during the 2005-2006 and 2009-2010 seasons.

Fourth In Road Wins

Loyola’s six road wins have them tied for fourth in all of NCAA Division I for victories away from its home court.

Fellow Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference side Iona is tied with No. 15/14 Murray State, Cleveland State and Wagner for the national lead with seven. Robert Morris, Lehigh and the Greyhounds all have six true road wins.

Last year, the Greyhounds finished the season with a 7-8 record away from home.

Road Warriors

The game at Bucknell closed a six-game road trip for the Greyhounds, a venture away from Baltimore on which Loyola finished 4-2 with its only losses coming at St. Bonaventure and No. 3 Kentucky.

The roadtrip is the longest in school Division I history (since 1981-1982), stretching longer than multiple five-game swings, the most recent coming from December 21, 2008-January 5, 2009. That trip took Loyola from Northern California (UC-Davis) to North Carolina (Duke and North Carolina State) and Western New York (Canisius and Niagara). The Greyhounds went 2-3 against those teams.

A Little Bit Of Everything

Erik Etherly led Loyola in four statistical categories at Bucknell: points (18), rebounds (8), assists (4) and blocked shots (4). While it was atypical to lead the Greyhounds in all of the categories, Etherly has routinely topped the team in at least one category this season. He was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Co-Player of the Week on January 2.

He has led the team in rebounding eight times (including ties); scoring, 4; assists, 5; steals, 4; blocked shots, 5.

Currently, Etherly paces the team in rebounds (95 total, 7.9 per game) and assists (26, 2.2), and he is second in scoring (156, 13.0) and minutes played (370, 30.8).

He is the only player in the MAAC currently leading his team in rebounds and assists.

Etherly has scored in double-figures in 21 of the Greyhounds’ last 23 games, going back to January 2011. He has averaged 14.1 in those contests.

Streak Snapped

St. Bonaventure University defeated Loyola 76-66, snapping the Greyhounds’ eight-game winning streak. Loyola had reeled off the span of wins since falling in its season-opener at Wake Forest.

The winning streak was the longest in the school’s NCAA Division I history (since 1981-82), and it is the longest since the 1964-1965 team won eight in a row during January and February.

Honors Abound For Cormier

Loyola sophomore guard Dylon Cormier picked up a couple of awards for his recent play, earning Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week and Jesuit Basketball Spotlight National Player of the Week honors on December 12, both for the first time in his career.

Cormier averaged 20.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in a pair of wins over George Washington University and Mount St. Mary’s University.

This season, Cormier leads Loyola in scoring (16.8), 3-point percentage (.424) and steals (1.8) and is third in rebounding (5.0).

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 early 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)
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)
Siena 13-0; 4:27 0-2, 19:28 (1) 13-2; 15:35 (1)
Geo. Wash. 17-0; 3:58 18-19, 6:28 (1) 34-19, 2:30 (1)
The Mount 9-0, 1:55 24-26, 1:59 (1) 33-26, :04 (1)
Canisius 18-4, 10:14 75-57, 10:14 (2) 75-57, 2:11 (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. 109 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 continue their road swing with a 3:30 p.m. game on Sunday in New Rochelle, N.Y., at Iona College.

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