- INSIDE ATHLETICS
- FOR THE STUDENTS
Manhattan Visits Men's Basketball Thursday Night
LOYOLA-MANHATTAN SERIES HISTORY: Manhattan leads the series, 31-19, although the Greyhounds have won six of the last seven in the regular season, including the last three. The three-point shooting of J'hared Hall and Robert Olson carried Loyola to an 82-67 win earlier this month as each knocked down six three-pointers to score career-highs with 23 and 20 points, respectively.
LAST TIME OUT: Senior guard Brian Rudolph's floater with one-half second remaining on the clock gave the Greyhounds a come-from-behind 65-63 MAAC road win Monday at Saint Peter's. The Peacocks scored 16 straight points in a run that spanned both halves to turn Loyola's five-point first-half lead into a 40-29 deficit with 16:28 remaining. Junior guard J'hared Hall scored all 15 of his points on five three-pointers over the next 11:40 to keep the Greyhounds close. Junior forward Shane Walker converted two free throws with 19.7 seconds left to tie the score for the final time and Rudolph rebounded a Peacocks miss and raced up court for the game-winner. Walker recorded team-highs with 19 points, eight rebounds and four blocks and freshman guard Dylon Cormier added 11 points.
PATSOS TO JOIN SELECT GROUP: When he takes the sidelines tonight, seventh-year head coach Jimmy Patsos will coach his 200th game at Loyola, becoming just the fourth person in the 101-year history of the program to reach that milestone. Already ranking third in career victories with 91, he will trail only Hall of Famers Lefty Reitz and Nap Doherty in games coached at Loyola after tonight.
WINNING THEM CLOSE: Loyola's last two victories have come by one- and two-points, respectively, the only decisions under three points this season for the Greyhounds. They are the first back-to-back narrow victories since January of 2009 when Loyola beat Saint Peter's at home by one (57-56) and followed that with a 73-72 overtime win at Marist. The Greyhounds' current 4-3 MAAC record also is the first time they have been above .500 in the conference since that same time. Loyola won five straight to end that January with a 6-5 conference record.
CONTINUING JANUARY SUCCESS: The consecutive wins to open the month continued a trend for the Greyhounds during the year's first month. For the fifth time in six seasons, Loyola won its first conference game in January and the Greyhounds' January record sits at 29-16 (.644) over the last five seasons. Prior to last year, Loyola pieced together six-game winning streaks running through January in the previous two seasons and in 2006-2007 the Greyhounds won six straight conference contests in January.
HALL'S SHOOTING LEADS TO WINS: Known as a scorer who can shoot, junior guard J'hared Hall showcased those skills in the win at Manhattan. Coming off the bench, he made six field goals - four of them from three-point range - and added a free throw on a conventional three-point play to establish a career high with 17 points in 11 minutes to keep the Greyhounds in the game. He added two three-pointers in the second half to finish with 23, ending eight of 10 from the field and six of eight from three-point range after entering the game making 13.0 percent (3-23) for three-pointers on the season. He added three assists, a block and a steal. The six three-pointers knocked down by both he and sophomore guard Robert Olson matched the sixth-best single-game total in school history last turned in by Brett Harvey in November 2008. He made his second start of the season at Iona and responded with a 17-point outing, making six of his 10 shots from the field and four of his six attempts from three-point range. He followed that with a team-high 17 points in Friday's win over Fairfield, including a three-pointer with 2:01 left to give Loyola the lead for good. And Monday at Saint Peter's, he scored all 15 of his points on three-pointers during a stretch of just over 10 minutes during the second half to erase an 11-point deficit. For his last four game, he is shooting 64.1 percent from the field (25-39) and 72.0 percent from three-point range (18-25).
WALKER RETURNS STRONG: Junior forward Shane Walker did not dress for the game at Iona, but he returned with a strong performance to help Loyola to the win Friday night over Fairfield and bettered that Monday at Saint Peter's. He scored 13 points with five rebounds, four blocks and a career-best five assists while playing 31 minutes to help beat the Stags. Then, his free throws with 19.7 left tied the game for the final time against the Peacocks and he finished with team highs with 19 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. He collected the fourth and fifth double-doubles of his career in early December. A 14-point effort at George Mason was his first double-figure scoring outing of the season and he grabbed 10 or more rebounds in three straight games around that outing. The double-double effort against Mount St. Mary's was his first at home after his previous four had come on the road. After his 19-point, eight-rebound effort in the home win over Marist, he averaged 13.3 points and 9.6 rebounds while shooting 86.7 percent from the foul line (26-30) over a seven-game stretch. He is the team's leading scorer (11.1 ppg) and second-leading rebounder (7.2 rpg). He also is steadily climbing his way up the all-time blocked shots list. He already has recorded 34 this season, giving him 80 for his Loyola career to rank third all-time. The 34 blocks through 17 games this season is tied for the eighth-best single-season total in school history with a minimum of 13 games remaining.
RUDOLPH HITS GAME-WINNER: Senior guard Brian Rudolph continued to showcase his leadership skills on and off the court and that was never more on display than when he made the game-deciding sequence of plays in Monday's win at Saint Peter's. Despite being held scoreless in the second half to that point, he forced a Peacocks' miss by Nick Leon with nine seconds remaining, grabbed the defensive rebound and raced up court to set up and sink the game-winning basket with a floater from the lane with one-half second left. It was his first game-winning bucket at Loyola. It continued the string of solid outings he has posted in his final season. He did not miss a shot from the floor in the home win over UMBC, scoring eight points off the bench to go along with three rebounds, three assists and a steal. He became the fourth player in Loyola history to surpass 400 career assists in that outing. In the win over Mount St. Mary's, he played 30 minutes off the bench and his six assists moved him into third place all-time on the Loyola career assists list. He matched those six assists in the home win over Marist and again in the win at Manhattan and now has 467. When he took the floor last month against Saint Peter's, he became the 41st person in Greyhounds history to play in 100 career games. He is 11 appearances away from becoming the school's all-time leader in games played.
CORMIER MAKES HIS RETURN: After missing two straight games with an illness, freshman guard Dylon Cormier made his return to the lineup in the home win over Marist and started and scored 10 points. He followed that with 11 points at Manhattan and 10 points at Iona. The efforts gave him four straight double-figure scoring games since not scoring in the December win over Mount St. Mary's. Omitting that game, he has scored seven points or more in his other 14 appearances and has reached double digits in eight of those. In fact, he has reached double figures in five of seven MAAC contests. He put on quite the shooting display in the home win over UMBC, leading Loyola to its first victory of the season. He missed just one shot of all three varieties, making four of five two-point shots, one of two three-point shots and nine of 10 free throws for a career-high 20 points. The last previous Loyola freshman to score 20-plus points in a game was Robert Olson's 20-point outing last January in a win over Marist. Cormier added five assists, two assists and a steal while playing 30 minutes.
ETHERLY POSTS SECOND DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Sophomore forward Erik Etherly collected the second double-double of his career in the win at Manhattan with 14 points and a career-best matching 13 rebounds. He recorded his first career double-double last month with 12 points and 10 rebounds at Howard. He scored in double figures in five of six games up to his contest against the Jaspers. After scoring all of his 14 points in the second half in the home win over Marist, he scored 12 of his points after the intermission against the Jaspers. In his last nine games, he is averaging 9.9 points and 8.6 rebounds while shooting 57.9 percent from the field (33-57). Included among those are a pair of perfect performances from the floor - seven-for-seven against Mount St. Mary's and four-for-four at Howard. The effort against the Mountaineers resulted in a career-high 17 points and matched the second-best shooting performance in school history. He leads the team in rebounding (7.5 rpg) and is second on the team in blocked shots (18).
DRUMMOND IGNITES SECOND-HALF COMEBACK: Freshman guard Justin Drummond ignited the second-half comeback in Friday's win over Fairfield as his seven straight points started a 16-5 run that turned a nine-point deficit into a two-point lead. He finished the game with 11 points - all of them in the second half - making five of his nine shots with a career-high five rebounds. After not dressing for the first eight games of the season awaiting medical clearance, freshman guard Justin Drummond was the team's leading scorer in back-to-back road games in Washington, D.C., last month. He played just four scoreless minutes in his debut against Mount St. Mary's, but followed that to post 21 points at No. 15 Georgetown and 17 points at Howard. He earned MAAC Rookie of the Week accolades following each of those efforts. The 21 points matches the second-highest point total of the season for a Greyhounds player this year through 13 games and he is the second freshman to reach the 20-point plateau after guard Dylon Cormier scored 20 in the win over UMBC.
OLSON IS A STARTER AGAIN: After starting the opener, sophomore guard Robert Olson moved out because of an injury and then found success coming off the bench. That success put him back in the starting lineup at Fairfield. He responded with 16 points as the only Loyola player in double figures and then followed that with 14 points at George Mason, making six of his nine shots. After playing just four minutes and being held scoreless in the win over UMBC following the injury, he reached double figures four times in six games, averaging 11.3 points during the stretch. He found his shooting touch in the home win over Marist, connecting on four of five three-point attempts to score 17 points while matching his season-best with three assists. That shooting continued in the win at Manhattan as he made six of his eight three-point tries while adding two free throws to finish with 20 points, matching his career high. He also handed out four assists to equal his career best in that category. For his last six games, he is averaging 9.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 55.9 percent (19-34) from the floor and 59.1 percent (13-22) from three-point range.
BARNEY RESPONDS TO RESERVE ROLE: A tri-captain, senior guard Jamal Barney showed that leadership by accepting his role off the bench and responded with a 21-point effort at Iona to lead the team and equal his season high. He was held scoreless for the first time since the fourth game of his career in the win last week at Manhattan, but he shook that off to make eight of 12 shots against the Gaels. He was scoreless again in Friday's win over Fairfield and did not make the trip to Saint Peter's. With a step-back 14-foot jumper with 5:14 left in the first half of the home win over Marist, he scored his 1,000th point in a Loyola uniform, becoming the 31st player in the 101-year history of Greyhounds basketball to reach that milestone. Last month, he reached 1,000 points for his career with a layup in the win over Mount St. Mary's and now has 1,059 points for his career. Earlier this season, he posted his fourth career double-double in the win over UMBC, scoring 14 points with 10 rebounds.
STREAK-SNAPPING VICTORY: Friday's win over Fairfield snapped a couple of streaks for both teams. The loss was the first for the Stags since November, ending an 11-game winning streak. Also, Fairfield had won 12 straight over the Greyhounds in Reitz Arena before Friday as Loyola last posted a home win in the series in January 1998. In the first game of the nationally televised doubleheader, Loyola's women's team ended a nine-game losing streak with its two-point win over Fairfield, making it a streak-ending night for both teams.
FAST TIMES IN REITZ ARENA: The Greyhounds had raced out to fast starts in their three home games before Friday night as they rode hot shooting and stingy defense. The stretch started with the December win over Mount St. Mary's when Loyola made eight of its first 11 shots while holding the Mountaineers to 1-10 shooting in sprinting out to an 18-4 lead seven minutes into the 65-42 win. In closing the month against Bucknell, the Greyhounds jumped ahead 12-2 by making five of their 10 attempts while the Bison misfired on their first five tries six minutes into the contest. And the 83-67 win over Marist to open 2011, Loyola connected on 10 of 13 shots while the Red Foxes made just three of nine to lift the Greyhounds to a 25-6 lead six-and-a-half minutes into the game. For that stretch of nearly 20 minutes of play, Loyola shot 67.6 percent from the field (23-34) while holding opponents to 16.7 percent (4-24) and outscoring them 55-12. Fairfield turned the tables Friday night by jumping ahead 13-4, but Loyola regrouped and posted the one-point win.
ROCKIN' WITH THE EIGHTIES: For the first time since February 2008, Loyola posted consecutive games scoring in the 80s with its wins over Marist and Manhattan. The Greyhounds broke the 80-point mark in three straight MAAC games from February 7-16, 2008, collecting wins over Saint Peter's and Siena sandwiched around a loss to Niagara. Combined with the 83-point effort against UMBC in the season's first win, Loyola has three 80-plus outings this year, matching last year's total with just under half the season remaining.
DRUMMOND NAMED MAAC ROOKIE OF THE WEEK, AGAIN: For the second straight week, freshman guard Justin Drummond was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week it was announced December 27 by the conference office. He followed up his career-high 21-point performance at No. 15 Georgetown by scoring a team-high 17 points at Howard. He is the first MAAC rookie to be honored on consecutive weeks and the first rookie to receive recognition twice through eight weeks of the season. Following the Co-Player of the Week honor garnered by junior forward Shane Walker on December 13, Greyhounds were feted by the MAAC for three consecutive weeks. His recognition makes him the fifth current Greyhound to be so honored and second this season joining classmate Dylon Cormier. The three prior to this season all were named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team and current senior guard Brian Rudolph was named the MAAC Co-Rookie of the Year following his freshman campaign.
WALKER NAMED MAAC CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK: After a pair of double-doubles in two games, junior forward Shane Walker was honored by the conference office as the MAAC Co-Player of the Week for games through December 12. It was his first conference acknowledgement and he shared the award with Iona's Mike Glover. He averaged 18.0 points and 10.0 rebounds while shooting 57.1 percent from the field (12-21), 62.5 percent from three-point range (5-8) and 87.5 percent from the foul line (7-8). He added two steals at George Mason and three blocked shots in the Mount St. Mary's win.
THE DEFENSE DOESN'T REST: Despite some mediocre scoring outings, the Greyhounds have been playing consistently good defense. That was never more evident than in the win over Mount St. Mary's when Loyola held an opponent below 50 points for the first time this season. The 42 points are the fewest for a Greyhounds opponent since holding Dartmouth to 41 points in a 58-41 win on November 24, 2009. Loyola is 11-2 when holding an opponent under 50 points since 1983-1984.
PATSOS REACHES MILESTONE: With the win at Morgan State, Greyhounds seventh-year head coach Jimmy Patsos moved into sole possession of third place on Loyola's all-time wins list. That 86th career win allowed him to pass Mark Amatucci who put together 85 wins during his seven-year career (1982-1989).
WALK-ONS WALK ON TO THE COURT: Both walk-ons got playing time for the final 37 seconds of the UMBC win and then followed that with 44 seconds of court time in the win over Dartmouth. For sophomore guard Luke Wandrusch, it was his third and fourth appearances since joining the team in late December 2009, but freshman forward Chido Onyiuke received his first playing time in a Loyola uniform. The tandem has appeared in eight and seven games, respectively, thus far. In all, each of the 13 dressed Greyhounds saw action in the UMBC contest and 12 played against Dartmouth.
GETTING TO THE LINE AND MAKING THEM: The Greyhounds were able to largely overcome an early eight-point deficit and remain in the game in the win over UMBC by their successes at the free-throw line. Loyola connected on its first 12 foul shots and finished the game with 29 made free throws - tied for the 16th highest total in school history. The success should not come as a huge surprise as the Greyhounds twice in the last three years have ranked among the top seven nationally in team free-throw percentage - seventh in 2007-2008 (.768) and fifth in 2008-2009 (.776).
THE FIVE `W'S: Any good newsman knows the five "W's". At Loyola, they are Walker, Wandrusch, Wiegand, Williams and Winbush. According to independent research, the Greyhounds are one of two teams in NCAA Division I with five players possessing last names that start with "W". The other is Texas-San Antonio. Barring some unique recruiting at other places or attrition in either program, both will hold the same claim next year as all five players on both teams are underclassmen.
STARTING LINEUP: Various injuries and illnesses have forced the Greyhounds to test out seven different starting lineups this season with the starts rotating among eight players. Last year, 11 of the 13 eligible players received starts with only first-year player Paolo Ivis and mid-season walk-on addition Luke Wandrusch not making starts.
BARNEY RECEIVES SECOND-TEAM NOD: For the second consecutive season, the MAAC coaches selected senior guard Jamal Barney to a spot on the Preseason All-MAAC Second Team. Again, he was the only Loyola player to receive preseason recognition. The leading scorer in the league at 18.1 points as a sophomore, Barney was All-MAAC Second Team following that first season in a Greyhounds uniform.
GREYHOUNDS PICKED SIXTH BY COACHES: Loyola was tabbed for sixth in MAAC preseason balloting by the league's coaches announced in October. Last year's runner-up Fairfield collected six of the first-place votes to rank first followed by three-time defending champion Siena and its three votes while one vote was cast for Saint Peter's. Iona placed four points behind the Peacocks to land fourth and the Greyhounds trailed fifth-place Rider by four votes as well.
JESUIT BASKETBALL SPOTLIGHT: For the third consecutive year, Loyola will participate in the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight which uses Jesuit basketball to raise awareness of Jesuit education. The next of these seven contests in which the Greyhounds will compete against a fellow Jesuit institution is next month when they host Canisius. The Jesuit Basketball Spotlight project highlights games between men's and women's teams from the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities across the United States. Jesuit Catholic colleges and universities in the United States have more than 200,000 students currently and more than 1.7 million living alumni. For more information on Jesuit higher education in the United States, go to www.ajcunet.edu.
GREYHOUNDS ON THE TUBE: Six Loyola contests will receive national or regional television exposure this season and that number could swell to as many as 10 through the BracketBusters event and advancement through the MAAC Tournament. The next televised game of the season is Saturday when the Greyhounds visit Marist. The matchup will be carried live locally on MASN.
ESPN RADIO 1300 HOME TO GREYHOUNDS AGAIN: For the fourth consecutive season, Baltimore's ESPN Radio 1300 will be the home for select Loyola radio games. All home games not picked up by ESPN Radio 1300 will be live streamed via Greyhounds All Access on www.LoyolaGreyhounds.com. The next broadcast on ESPN Radio 1300 is January 30 when Loyola hosts Iona.
GREYHOUNDS ALL-ACCESS: Once again this season, any home game not selected for television will be made available on live video streaming through Greyhounds All Access. The next offering after tonight is next Friday when Loyola welcomes Siena to Reitz Arena. Games can be accessed via www.LoyolaGreyhounds.com.
FOLLOW LOYOLA ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER: Loyola Athletics continues to provide updates on all the Greyhounds teams via its Facebook and Twitter sites. Greyhounds followers can get immediate news via Facebook.com/LoyolaHounds and Twitter.com/LoyolaHounds.
NEXT UP FOR LOYOLA: This stretch of three home contests in four games gets interrupted Saturday when the Greyhounds visit Marist for a MAAC TV appearance that will be seen locally on MASN starting at 2 o'clock. Next weekend, Loyola hosts Siena on January 28 and Iona on January 30 to wrap up the month.