Men's Hoops Gives Fairfield First MAAC Loss In 66-65 Thriller

Jan. 14, 2011

Final Stats | Photo Gallery 

Baltimore, Md. - Junior guard J'hared Hall knocked down a three-pointer with two minutes remaining to break a 61-all tie and junior forward Shane Walker broke away for a game-clinching dunk to lead Loyola to a 66-65 MAAC home victory over Fairfield Friday night in Reitz Arena.

The Loyola (7-9, 3-3 MAAC) victory snapped two long Stags streaks. In addition to ending an 11-game Fairfield winning streak this season, the Greyhounds' win ended a 12-year losing streak at the hands of the Stags in Reitz Arena. Loyola last beat Fairfield at home on January 25, 1998, with an 86-60 victory.

The game started as if the Stags would be extending both streaks as they jumped out to a 13-4 lead 4:34 into the contest as Ryan Olander scored five points and Yorel Hawkins and Maurice Barrow each added four. The teams played practically even for the remainder of the half and Fairfield led 35-28 at the intermission largely behind the three-point shooting of Lyndon Jordan off the bench as he connected on all three of his long-range shots and scored 11 first-half points.

It was a different Loyola team entering the second half as if scored eight of the first 10 points to pull within one at 37-36 barely three minutes into the final 20 minutes. But Fairfield (12-4, 5-1 MAAC) would go on a 10-2 run of its own to match its largest lead of the game at 47-38 with 14:16 remaining.

Just over one minute later, the seven-foot Olander picked up his fourth foul and the Greyhounds began to chip away at their deficit. Freshman guard Justin Drummond started the stretch with seven straight points on a conventional three-point play, a dunk and a layup. Walker scored five straight points to tie the game for the first time at 52-52 with 9:07 left and his theft on Fairfield's possession resulted in an easy layup when senior guard Brian Rudolph beat everyone up the court for Loyola's first lead of the night with 8:35 remaining and it would not trail again.

The game would be tied three times over the final eight minutes, but Fairfield could not regain the lead as it missed a three-pointer and committed three straight turnovers on four consecutive possessions with a chance to retake an advantage. After Derek Needham knotted the score at 61 with a three-pointer with 4:45 remaining, neither team would score for the next 2:44 until Hall's three-pointer game Loyola the lead for good at 64-61 with 2:01 remaining.

The Greyhounds turned the ball over twice around a Fairfield turnover and fouled Hawkins after he grabbed an offensive rebound with 5.4 remaining. After swishing the first, he purposefully missed the second, but failed to hit the rim for a violation. Walker broke free on the inbounds play for a dunk and Needham's three-pointer as the final horn sounded ended the scoring.

For the second time in three games, Hall came off the bench to lead all scorers, tallying 17 while making three of his four three-point shots. Walker added 13 with a career-best five assists and four blocks and Drummond scored 11 points with five rebounds off the bench.

Fairfield was led in scoring by Needham's 14 points and Barrow added 13. Jordan's 11 points all came in the first half as he did not attempt a shot after the intermission.

Having won two of three, the Greyhounds return to the road Monday afternoon for a Martin Luther King Day matinee at Saint Peter's. Game time is 2 o'clock. Loyola is back in Reitz Arena Thursday night when it hosts Manhattan at 8:00 p.m.