Jan. 28, 2010
BALTIMORE - Fairfield connected on seven of its final eight shots over the final 5:08 and Sean Crawford scored eight points in the final 100 seconds to lead the Stags to a 73-69 MAAC road win at Loyola.
After the Greyhounds (10-11, 3-8 MAAC) took their final lead of the game at 55-54 on a three-pointer by freshman guard Robert Olson with 5:26 left, Fairfield (15-6, 8-3 MAAC) wrestled the lead back on its next possession on a three-pointer by Mike Evanovich and started a stretch where it missed just one of eight shots while scoring on every offensive possession.
Anthony Johnson scored three straight layups, the last on an offensive put-back for a 63-60 Stags lead with 2:22 remaining. Loyola tied it on its next time with the ball as senior guard Brett Harvey nailed a three-pointer with 2:07 left.
Following a Greyhounds timeout, Sean Crawford started a stretch of eight straight Fairfield points with a four-point play with 1:41 remaining. Senior guard Tony Lewis answered with a three-pointer for Loyola 24 seconds later to pull the Greyhounds within one. Crawford scored again for the Stags and Loyola converted just one of a two-shot foul with 42.9 ticks remaining to trail 69-67.
The Greyhounds opted to defend and Fairfield wound the clock down to 10 seconds in the game when Crawford split Loyola's defense for a layup and a 71-67 lead. Junior guard Brian Rudolph connected on a pair of free throws for the Greyhounds with four seconds left and Stags freshman Derek Needham iced the game with a pair of foul shots with 3.3 seconds remaining.
A physical first half where the teams combined to hit 32.3 percent (21-65) had Loyola ahead 26-24 at the intermission on a putback by senior forward Jawaan Wright at the buzzer. Both teams found their shooting eye over the final 20 minutes with Fairfield shooting 57.1 percent (16-28) while the Greyhounds shot 66.7 percent (14-21).
Fairfield had a decided advantage in points in the paint (36-22) and points off turnovers (23-6) as the Greyhounds committed 18 turnovers and took 18 fewer shots that the Stags. Fairfield outrebounded Loyola in the second half, 14-8, and grabbed six offensive boards compared to one for the Greyhounds.
Johnson led all scorers with 23 points, adding eight rebounds and a perfect five-for-five from the free-throw line. Needham scored 11 and handed out six assists and Crawford finished with 10.
The Greyhounds were led by Harvey's 15 points and got 14 points from Lewis off the bench as he missed just one shot from the field while making two three-pointers and handing out three assists. Olson chipped in with 11 points while sophomores Shane Walker and J'hared Hall each added eight.
Loyola is back in action Sunday afternoon for an Alumni Weekend matinee at 3 o'clock with the Niagara Purple Eagles.