Feb. 25, 2004
Baltimore, Md. - Fairfield barely missed a shot on Wednesday night at Reitz Arena. The Stags made 62 percent of their shots, and despite a solid shooting effort from Loyola (46 percent), the visitors from Fairfield left Retiz Arena with a 78-53 win.
For the third straight game, freshman Michael Tuck registered a career-high point total. Tuck poured in 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting, besting a season-high total of 12 points he set at Canisius last Saturday. The Greyhounds, however, fell behind early and could never catch up.
"Michael Tuck played well for us tonight," says Loyola Head Coach Scott Hicks. "As a team, however, we came out flat and Fairfield just didn't miss."
The Stags took an early 12-2 lead, starting the game at a 6-for-6 clip. Fairfield increased the margin to 27-10, making 12-of-14 field goals before Loyola could find its rhythm.
"We knew that Loyola was going to come out with intensity," says Fairfield Head Coach Tim O' Toole. "That's why we focused on getting off to a good start."
The Greyhounds put together a few small runs, cutting the lead to 12 points with 5:04 left in the first half. Fairfield converted 24 first-half points in the paint and went into the lockeroom with a 42-26 advantage.
The Stags would only increase their lead in the second half, scoring the first 12 points of the second period. Charlie Bell, Loyola's leading scorer this season, put together some offense in the second half after scoring three points in the first. Bell finished with 12 points, Linton Hinds scored five in the loss.
Rob Thomson led Fairfield with 21 points and seven rebounds. Both Maxwell DeWitt and Kudjo Sogadzi scored 11 for the Stags, who improve to 19-9 overall and 12-5 in the MAAC.
"This was an embarrassing loss," says Tuck, who led the team with 19 points. "We have to regroup and forget. We play again on Sunday then the MAAC Tournament is right around the corner. Anything can happen there."
Loyola, 1-25 overall, closes out the regular season with Iona at home on Sunday. That game is the second-half of a men's-women's double header beginning at 2 p.m.