Dec. 5, 2010
Bridgeport, Conn. - A valiant second-half comeback fell short as Loyola fought back to within one point after trailing by 22 in the first half, but Fairfield's Ryan Olander scored six straight points and Fairfield held on for a 65-55 MAAC road victory Sunday afternoon at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
The Stags (4-3, 1-0 MAAC) scored 10 straight to build a 12-2 lead and held the Greyhounds without a field goal for the opening 9:14 to lead early, 14-3. Fairfield built its largest lead on the strength of a 19-2 run to pull ahead 35-13 with 90 seconds remaining before the intermission using balanced scoring as nine Stags saw action and all of them scored while Loyola made just five field goals for the half.
The second half started differently for Loyola (3-4, 0-1 MAAC). Trailing 42-23 three minutes in, the Greyhounds ran off 15 straight points as part of an 18-1 run that spanned 8:14 and brought Loyola within two at 43-41. The stretch was capped by an and-one by freshman guard Dylon Cormier, who scored seven points during the run.
Back in the game, the Greyhounds got as close one once, coming when senior guard Jamal Barney completed a conventional three-point play with a free throw to make the score 47-46 with 6:45 to play. But Fairfield pounded the ball inside to the seven-foot Olander and he responded with a pair of layups around two free throws to push the margin to 53-46 with 4:39 remaining.
Loyola would score one field goal over the next 4:19 while the Stags made six free throws, two layups and a jump shot to increase their lead to 11 with 16.3 left to play.
For the Stags, Olander finished with a double-double, scoring 14 points to match his number of rebounds. Derek Needham tied him for team-high scoring honors with 14 points in addition to his game-high eight assists while Yorel Hawkins scored 13.
The Greyhounds were led in scoring with 16 from sophomore guard Robert Olson. No other Loyola player reached double figures, but junior forward Shane Walker grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds. The starting backcourt of Barney and Cormier split 18 points.
Loyola continues a stretch of four road games in five on Wednesday when it travels to George Mason for a 7 o'clock start. The game will be televised live on MASN. The week concludes with the Greyhounds hosting Mount St. Mary's at Reitz Arena at 4:00 p.m.