Feb. 10, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - Niagara forward Charron Fisher poured in a career-high 45 points to lead the Purple Eagles to a 92-87 MAAC road win over Loyola Sunday afternoon at Reitz Arena. The nation's second-leading scorer, Fisher tallied 25 prior to halftime and 20 after the intermission as the Purple Eagles swept the season series with two wins in six days over the Greyhounds.
"We have played two great games in a week against Niagara. To have games like that, I am really proud of our program," Greyhounds fourth-year head coach Jimmy Patsos said following the game. "Gerald Brown really gutted it out today. We have a whole week to get better; a whole week to practice; a whole week to get healthy.
The first half was a high-scoring affair with both teams running the floor and shooting high percentages. Loyola (14-12, 9-5 MAAC) took an early 8-3 lead off senior guard Gerald Brown's pair of three-pointers and a hook shot from senior forward Omari Isreal. Fisher answered by converting a three-point play with a layup and free-throw and drained a shot from beyond the arc. At the 14:02 mark, Niagara guard Tyrone Lewis hit a three-pointer to give the Purple Eagles a 17-14 lead they would maintain for the half. With 5:56 remaining a three-pointer from junior guard Marquis Sullivan brought the deficit to 35-33, but Niagara responded with an 8-0 run to grab a 43-33 lead with 4:22 left.
Fisher dominated the first half, shooting 9-11. Brown led the way for Loyola, tallying 21 in the period. Niagara (15-8, 9-5 MAAC) shot 69 percent from the floor during the first 20 minutes and enjoyed a 55-43 advantage at intermission.
The Greyhounds raced out of the gate in the second half, attacking the Purple Eagles with a 16-3 run. Sophomore guard Brett Harvey connected on a three from the corner and freshman guard Brian Rudolph added one from the top of the key. The spurt was highlighted by a two-handed dunk from Isreal on an assist from Brown. At the 14:46 mark, Harvey hit another three-pointer, followed by a fast break lay-up that gave the Greyhounds a 64-61 advantage. Niagara quickly responded with a 7-0 run, and would not trail again. Loyola tied the game at 81 with just over three minutes remaining as Harvey connected on three free-throws, but another 7-0 run from Niagara put the game out of reach.
Brown led Loyola with 29 points followed by Harvey who matched his career high with 20 points and converted all seven of his free-throws. Rudolph finished with a career-best 14 points and five assists while Isreal added 13 and brought down seven rebounds.
"In a game like this, we knew it wasn't going to be on the offensive end, it was going to be on the defensive end," Brown stated. "Every game is a learning experience and hopefully we can learn from this and bounce back, work hard and prepare for Siena. The only thing we can do is get better."
Loyola's next game is Saturday when it travels to Albany to take on the Siena Saints for a 1:00 pm tip-off.