Fairfield's Needham Leads Stags Past Loyola, 65-60

Jan. 8, 2010

Final Stats

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Derek Needham scored 10 of Fairfield's final 11 points over the final five minutes of the game after the Greyhounds had cut it to one to pull out a 65-60 MAAC home victory over Loyola Friday night at the Arena at Harbor Yard.

After junior guard Jamal Barney pulled the Greyhounds within one at 54-53 with a finger-roll layup with 5:02 remaining, Needham answered with a three-pointer two possessions later to start a stretch of six straight points of his own to put the Stags ahead 60-53 with three minutes to play.

Loyola tried to scratch its way back in the game and was down just three at 63-60 following a layup from freshman guard Robert Olson with 22.7 seconds left, but Needham sealed the Fairfield victory with a pair of free throws with 19.5 remaining.

The teams played even for the first six minutes, before Fairfield ran off six straight for a five-point lead after three-pointers by Shimeek Johnson and Mike Evanovich. The Greyhounds made three straight three-pointers for a 20-18 lead before 10 consecutive Stags points put the lead back in Fairfield's favor for good.

Loyola was forced to play the second half without leading scorer Brett Harvey, who suffered an injury following a hard foul just prior to halftime. The senior guard had scored eight first-half points to lead the Greyhounds.

Fairfield was led in scoring by Anthony Johnson's 14 points, followed by Needham's 13. Evanovich tallied 11 off the bench, making all three of his three-point attempts.

Barney led Loyola with 12 points, his 10th consecutive game with double-figure scoring. Olson reached a career high with 10 points and junior guard Brian Rudolph came off the bench to hand out seven assists with six points and a team-high six rebounds.

The Greyhounds return to action Monday night when they host Iona in another MAAC contest. Game time in Reitz Arena is 7 o'clock.