Feb. 3, 2005
Baltimore, Md. - Fairfield senior Deng Gai recorded his first career triple double to guide the Stags to a 56-35 win over Loyola on Thursday night at Reitz Arena. Gai scored 19 points with 11 rebounds and 10 blocked shots while also altering Loyola's offensive attack with his inside presence.
"I told our guys to attack the basket," says Loyola Head Coach Jimmy Patsos. "He [Deng Gai] got some blocked shots early and we played scared."
Gai scored seven of Fairfield's first nine points as the Stags raced out to a quick lead. Loyola cut into the deficit with a couple solid baskets, and with Shane James' backdoor lay-in from Bernard Allen at 6:37, the score was 16-11. Fairfield, however, went on a 15-2 run to build a comfortable 31-13 lead and held a 32-15 edge at the break.
The Greyhounds, who were led by Brad Farrell's seven points and four rebounds, shot only 25.8 percent from the floor in the second half and 26.8 percent for the game. The free throw line was also unkind as Loyola connected on 3-of-8 attempts from the charity stripe. Both Allen and Freddie Stanback pulled down six rebounds for Loyola, which out-boarded Fairfield 41-37.
Loyola's 35 points is also a new low in the shot-clock era and the lowest scoring output since the 1951-52 season when North Carolina State handed the Greyhounds a 74-33 loss. Fairfield, with the win, improves to 11-9 overall and 8-3 in the MAAC.
The Greyhounds, now 3-17 overall and 2-9 in the conference, will quickly regroup and host preseason MAAC favorite Manhattan at Reitz Arena this Sunday afternoon. That game is the second in a men's-women's doubleheader and can be heard live on WNST AM 1570 and Sirius Satellite Radio.
Sunday's game is slated for 2:30 p.m. but may start later should the women's game go long. The women host Canisius at noon.