Feb. 25, 2007
Buffalo, N.Y. - Junior guard Gerald Brown scored a game-high 27 points and Loyola scored their final six points at the free-throw line en route to a 74-71 MAAC victory over Canisius Sunday at Koessler Athletic Center. The win secures the No. 3 seed for the Greyhounds in this weekend's MAAC Championship as they advanced to 12-6 in the conference and 17-12 overall.
"This was a gritty win for us," Greyhounds third-year coach Jimmy Patsos said after the game. "This has been the weirdest year ever. We haven't played once this year with our full complement of players. We didn't shoot the ball real well up here, but we found a way to win today. I was happier with the start because we were in the hole the whole way at Niagara."
Loyola roared out to a 12-3 start three-and-a-half minutes into the game as senior forward Josko Alujevic converted a three-point play and sophomore guard Marquis Sullivan connected on a three-point shot. Canisius used an 11-2 run to tie the game at 14 with 11:38 left on a three-point shot by Chuck Harris.
The Greyhounds ran off 11 of the next 12 points to grab a 25-15 advantage with 8:44 left in the first half and held a 43-34 lead at the intermission as Brown scored 16.
Canisius scored 18 of the first 26 points after the intermission to take a 52-51 lead on a thunderous Darnell Wilson dunk. The Golden Griffins (11-18, 6-12) built a nine-point lead at 66-57 with 6:20 remaining before the Greyhounds mounted the final comeback, outscoring Canisius 17-5 to finish the game.
Freshman guard Brett Harvey tied the game with 1:49 left on a three-point shot and Brown hit a pair of free throws to retie the game at 69. Senior guard Shane James made both of his free throws with 37 ticks left and Brown grabbed a defensive rebound and made his two foul shots with 17 seconds left to push the score to 73-69.
Wilson brought Canisius within two on an offensive put-back and Harvey was fouled on the in-bounds pass. He made the first and Pawel Malesa missed a three-point shot that would have tied the game as the horn sounded.
Brown added five rebounds, four assists and four steals to his 27 points. James scored six points with six rebounds and four assists. Alujevic finished with nine and Sullivan eight.
The Greyhounds will play in the fourth quarterfinal contest on Saturday at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn., against Fairfield at 10:00 p.m. The game will be carried live on MASN.