The Greyhounds return to Reitz Arena for a televised game on Friday, February 3, 2012, against Rider University. The contest, which is slated for 7 o’clock, will be Loyola’s first against the Broncs this season, marking the last Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference team it will have faced at least once this year.
On The Tube
Loyola and Rider will square off in a nationally televised game on ESPNU College Basketball Built by the Home Depot. Doug Sherman will call the play-by-play, and Tim O’Toole will provide the analysis.
The game is Loyola’s second on ESPNU this season following a 66-63 victory at Fairfield on January 13. This year, Loyola already played seven games on television. Those with access to Watch ESPN on various smart phones, tablets and game consoles can also watch the video broadcast of the action.
Over The Airwaves
Fans in the Baltimore area can listen to the game, live, on ESPN Radio 1300 AM. Gary Lambrecht will handle play-by-play, and Jim Chivers will be on color.
The game’s audio will also be streamed live on LoyolaGreyhounds.com.
Loyola and Rider will meet for the 38th time in series history when the teams take the floor on Friday with the Broncs holding a 22-15 lead in the previous 37 games. The Broncs swept the season series in 2010-2011, winning the first meeting on February 4, 2011, when Danny Stewart made a pair of free throws with 3.5 seconds on the clock to secure a 61-60 win for Rider.
Rider then overcame 21 turnovers when the teams played in Reitz Arena on February 16, 2011, to win 82-70.
Last year’s sweep was Rider’s first over the Greyhounds since the 2006-2007 season. Loyola has won four of the last seven meetings between the teams and four of the last six in Reitz Arena.
Four Under Sixty
For the first time in its NCAA Division I history (since 1981-1982), Loyola has held four consecutive opponents to fewer than 60 points.
Over the last four games, all Loyola victories, the Greyhounds have held Siena, Saint Peter’s, Niagara and Canisius to an average of 54.5 points per game.
The Greyhounds previous had held teams to sub-60 performances just once since joining Division I, and that came during 1981-1982, their first season at this level.
The last time a Loyola team held four-straight teams under 60, regardless of division, came in February 1980 when it kept Philadelphia Textile, Swarthmore, Pitt-Johnstown and St. Mary’s (Md.) to 59 or fewer.
The Greyhounds completed a feat they have never accomplished last weekend, sweeping Niagara and Canisius on the road. Since joining the MAAC in 1989-1990, the best Loyola fared on the Western New York roadtrip was a split of the two teams.
Loyola finished the month of January with a 7-2 record for the second year in a row, duplicating the effort the 2010-2011 squad put together after the calendar flipped.
Including this year, Loyola is 39-19 (.672) during the year’s first month over the last six seasons. The 2006-2007 team set the standard with an 8-2 (.800) record, and the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 sides followed with 7-3 (.700) marks. The 2009-2010 team slid to 3-7 (.300) before last year’s team experienced success again.
During Jimmy Patsos’ eight seasons at Loyola, the Greyhounds are 45-33 (.577) during January.
Fastest To 16
Loyola’s win over Canisius was the Greyhounds’ 16th of the season, marking their fastest path to 16 victories since joining Division I for the 1981-1982 season. The Greyhounds’ arrival at 15 wins came by a wide margin over the previous best.
The 2006-2007 squad, which was Jimmy Patsos’ third at the school, set the previous standard, reaching 16 wins in 27 games, six more than this year’s team.
Loyola’s 16-5 start through its first 21 games of the season ranks is tied for the third-best start during that many games in program history. The start is the best since 1949-1950 when “Lefty” Reitz’s team opened its season with the same record through 21.
The best start through 21 games came in 1940-1941 when another Reitz-coached team entered the Mason-Dixon Conference Championship with an 18-3 record. That Loyola team defeated Mount St. Mary’s in the semifinals before losing to Western Maryland (now McDaniel) in the title game.
Good MAAC Start
With wins in nine of its first 11 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference games this season, Loyola is off to its best start in league play since joining the league in 1989-1990. The Greyhounds’ previous best MAAC starts were 8-3 in both 2006-2007 and 2007-2008.
Success Sans Cormier
Last weekend’s victories at Niagara and Canisius came without the Greyhounds’ top scorer in good health. Dylon Cormier, who entered the weekend averaging 15.3 points per game, was credited with 11 minutes of action (although game tape revealed it was closer to seven) at Niagara after suffering an ankle injury the previous Tuesday in practice. Cormier did not play at all against Canisius.
Double-Double For Walker
Shane Walker led all players with 17 points and 11 rebounds in Sunday’s win at Canisius, his first double-double of the season and seventh of his career.
Walker scored 11 points in the first half and also had six offensive rebounds during the game, the most by any Loyola player this season. He was 5-of-6 from the free-throw line, as well.
Defense As Good Or Better
While Walker’s contributions on the boards and offense were solid, Shane Walker’s defense against Canisius was even better.
Walker finished the game with five blocked shots and altered several more with his presence in the post. The five blocks were the most this season by a Loyola player and just one off Walker’s previous career high of six that came on January 15, 2010, at Marist.
After a stretch of not scoring in double figures for the last three games of December and the first two in January, Robert Olson was the Greyhounds’ leading scorer during the first month of the new calendar year, averaging 13.8.
In Loyola’s last seven games, a stretch in which the Greyhounds are 6-1, Olson has averaged a team-best 15.3 points per game.
During those seven games, his low total is 11, coming last Friday at Niagara. He is shooting .529 from the field (37-of-70) and a more impressive .523 (23-of-44) from 3-point range.
Olson has made at least two 3-pointers in each of the seven games and has three or more in all but one (at Niagara).
Winbush Continues Contributions As Starter
Anthony Winbush got his fifth start of the season Sunday in place of the injured Dylon Cormier, and Winbush made his presence known in several areas.
He finished the game with six rebounds, four offensive, and had a season-high five steals, one off his career high of six which came in a December 2009 victory at Indiana. His defensive versatility was also critical as Canisius started four guards.
During Loyola’s modest four-game winning streak, Winbush has averaged 5.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. He also has averages of 1.8 assists and steals per game.
Loyola finished Sunday’s game with 18 assists, tying its season-high set earlier this year against Florida Gulf Coast and when Canisius played in Baltimore. All five starters had two or more assists, and three had four-plus: Erik Etherly (5), Robert Olson and R.J. Williams (4), Shane Walker (3) and Anthony Winbush (2).
Must Be The Lake-Effect Wind
While the Greyhounds spent four nights in Buffalo, sustained winds of 25 miles per hour or more came off Lake Erie for much of the trip.
The breeze must have helped the Greyhounds’ free-throw shooting as they recorded back-to-back season-high performances in free-throw percentage. Loyola made 24-of-30 (.800) at Niagara, and it then checked in with 13-of-16 (.813) against the Golden Griffins. The games are, to date, the only two .800-plus outings of the season.
Slowing A Scorer
A big reason for the Greyhounds’ ability to hold Canisius to just 52 points Sunday was the defensive effort R.J. Williams, Justin Drummond and Anthony Winbush combined to put on Harold Washington, the Golden Griffins’ leading scorer.
Washington entered the game averaging 17.2 points per game, good for fourth in the MAAC, but he finished with just eight points on 2-of-8 from the floor and 4-of-7 from the line. Washington was held under double digits for just the third time this season, and his eight points were his second-lowest total of the year.
Williams’ Solid Weekend
Freshman point guard R.J. Williams put together one of his better weekends of the season, by averaging 7.5 points, 5.5 assists and just 1.5 turnovers in the victories over Niagara and Canisius.
Williams scored eight points and had a career-best seven assists at Niagara, and he followed that by scoring seven and dishing out four helpers against the Golden Griffins.
Last Time Out
Canisius led 22-16 after a David Santiago layup with 8:02 to play in the first half, but those were the last points the Greyhounds would allow before halftime, going on a 12-0 run to close the stanza.
Loyola extended the run to 24-2 in the second half and led 40-24 when Erik Ethelry converted a traditional 3-point play with 15:58 on the clock.
Sunday’s Time Changed
The Greyhounds’ game on Sunday at Saint Peter’s has been changed to a 12 noon tip-off in Jersey City.
Bracketbuster Opponent Named
Loyola learned Monday that it will host Boston University of the America East Conference in its sixth appearance in the Sears’ Bracketbuster Event. The Greyhounds and Terriers will play Sunday, February 19, at 12 noon in Reitz Arena.
Drummond Seeing Purple
Justin Drummond had his third 20-plus point game of the season and second versus Niagara on Friday night when he scored 21, 17 coming in the second half.
Drummond was 5-of-11 from the field and made 11-of-12 at the free-throw line. He also had a career-high four steals.
This season, he is 14-of-27 from the field and has scored 44 points in two games versus the Purple Eagles. He also has averaged six rebounds in the two meetings.
He followed that outing by making 6-of-10 shots and scoring 14 points to go with four rebounds at Canisius. Over the weekend, he averaged 17.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in the wins.
Etherly’s Last Seven
Erik Etherly continued his solid play of late with 18 points in Friday night’s victory at Niagara and 15 in Sunday’s win at Canisius. The game against the Golden Griffins marked the fourth time in the Greyhounds’ last six that he has scored 15 or more points, and it raised his seven-game scoring average to 14.7 points.
Etherly also has averaged 7.6 rebounds, as well, during the stretch that dates back to the Greyhounds’ first meeting with Canisius on January 7.
The junior forward finished last Sunday’s game against Saint Peter’s with 19 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots, all game highs. He also was 9-of-12 from the free-throw line, matching his season-best for free throws made.
Last week, in a pair of Loyola wins, Etherly averaged 15.5 points and 10.0 rebounds after scoring 12 and pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds against Siena.
In And Out Of The Lineup
Jordan Latham returned to the Loyola rotation for the first time since December 28 at Bucknell after missing seven games following a foot injury prior to the January 2 game. Latham entered the game with 13:05 to go in the first half and 16 seconds later blocked a shot. He played 15 minutes and finished with two blocks.
On the other hand, Dylon Cormier did not start for the first time in his college career and was also held scoreless for the first time. Cormier was injured in practice earlier this week and did not play in the first half against Niagara.
Loyola recorded its second-best shooting performance of the season Friday night at Niagara, finishing the game 21-of-40, a 52.5-percent clip. The number was buoyed significantly by an 11-of-16, 68.8-percent, mark in the second half. The Greyhounds’ second-half numbers represented their best 20 minutes of the season. Meanwhile, Loyola made 80-percent (24-of-30) of its free throws, as well, on Friday night, their best free-throw shooting performance of the season. FG Percentage Getting It Done While not the most glamorous mark in the box score, Loyola is 13-0 this season when it shoots 41.3-percent or better from the field. The Greyhounds have made less than 44-percent of their shots and won seven times this season.
As of Monday, the Greyhounds ranked 234th out of 338 teams in NCAA Division I with a .420 field goal percentage, and they are one of just two teams (joining Robert Morris) to have 16 or more wins and rank 225 or higher in the category.
Tied For Second In Road Wins
As of the beginning of the week, Loyola’s nine road wins had them tied for second in all of NCAA Division I for victories away from its home court.
Wagner leads the way with 10, while the Greyhounds are tied with Murray State, Harvard, Iona and Cleveland State.
Olson Scores In Bunches
Robert Olson scored seven points in a 23-second stretch versus Fairfield, going on a 7-0 run by himself. Fairfield led 62-55 when Olson pulled up for an 18-foot jumper with 1:42 left in regulation. He then hit a shot with his foot on the 3-point line 15 ticks later to make it a 3-point Stags lead. The junior guard tied the game at 62-62 with 1:19 on the clock with a three from the right side.
Olson finished with 15 points, 13 coming in the second half. Earlier in the stanza, an Olson three at the 14:38 mark cut Fairfield’s largest lead of 15 to 12, and he then knocked one down with 10:04 on the clock.
It was the second game in a row Olson has scored seven-straight points in the second half. He went on a personal 7-0 run against Canisius to move Loyola’s lead back to 11 after the Golden Griffins cut it to four.
The second half has often been a big one for Olson. Last year, he scored nine points in 83 seconds to help defeat Morgan State, and against Iona in Baltimore, Olson made a three pointer with seven ticks of the clock left to tie and send the game to overtime. He then scored the game’s last four points to secure the victory.
Walker Moves Into Second
Shane Walker blocked two Fairfield shots in the first three minutes of the game, and he then swatted a Maurice Barrow layup with 13:58 on the clock, tying him for second all-time at Loyola in blocked shots.
With five blocks against Canisius, Walker now has 124 blocks in his career and is all alone in second place. Brian Carroll (1997-2001) holds the school record with 213.
Everyone On The Offensive Boards
Loyola leads the MAAC in offensive rebounding as a team, averaging 14.3, nearly a full rebound more per game that second-place Canisius (13.2).
Despite the team ranking, no Greyhounds player is higher than seventh in the conference in offensive rebounds per game. Erik Etherly is seventh with 2.5, while Justin Drummond is 13th with 2.2, just ahead of teammate Dylon Cormier in 14th.
No other league team has more than two players in the top 15 of the statistical category.
The 19 steals are the second-most in school history, one more than the Greyhounds posted in a November 29, 1997, game at Kent State. It is also the most Loyola has recorded against a Division I opponent. The school single-game record of 20 came on February 28, 1996, when the team closed the regular-season against St. Mary’s (Md.).
Head Coach Jimmy Patsos became the third coach in Loyola history to win 100 games when the Greyhounds defeated UMBC, 73-63, on the road. Patsos, who is in his eighth season, took over a team that finished 1-27 during the 2002-2003 season. He won his 100th game in his 215th career game.
Last season, Patsos moved into third-place all time at Loyola in victories, trailing only Lefty Reitz (349 wins, 1937-44, 1945-61) and Nap Doherty (165, 1961-74).
Two Of A Kind
Although unofficial, research shows that Jimmy Patsos is one of only two coaches in the last 20 years to take over a team that won just one game the year prior to his arrival.
Brigham Young finished the 1996-1997 season with a 1-25 record. Steve Cleveland took over the following season and tallied 138 wins until his departure for Fresno State after the 2004-2005 season.
Men’s & Women’s Coaches With 100
Loyola University Maryland is one of just 26 mid-major schools that has men’s and women’s basketball coaches with 100 or more victories at their current school after Greyhound women’s coach Joe Logan got his 100th on December 18 in a win at George Washington.
Loyola is the only school in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference to have accomplished the feat, and it is one of only five institutions at which the coaches have both won 100 or more games in 10 or fewer seasons.
Getting To The Line
As a team, Loyola went to the free-throw line 46 times at UMBC, making 31. The 46 attempts are the sixth-most all-time and most since the 2004-2005 squad attempted 53 on December 5, 2004, against Niagara.
Loyola’s 31 free throws made rank 11th on the school single-game chart and were the most since making 32 on January 14, 2009, versus NJIT.
Although his shot was not falling at UMBC, Dylon Cormier still found ways to be productive on the offensive end of the floor. The sophomore guard was just 2-of-9 from the field, but he went to the free-throw line 17 times, making 15, and finished with 20 points.
Cormier’s 15 free throws made are tied for sixth in Loyola single-game history, matching the total made by Mike Powell at Saint Peter’s on December 6, 1997, and Donovan Thomas against Marist on February 23, 2003. The 15 makes were the most by a Loyola player since Jamal Barney set the school record with 18 on January 14, 2009, against NJIT. His 17 attempts rank tied for sixth all-time.
Baltimore Bred And More From Nearby
Since taking over as head coach in 2004, Jimmy Patsos has put an emphasis on recruiting locally, and it has never shown as much as on this year’s roster. Three players – sophomore guard Dylon Cormier (Cardinal Gibbons), sophomore forward Jordan Latham (City) and freshman guard R.J. Williams (St. Frances) are products of schools within the city limits.
Loyola hits the road for a Super Bowl Sunday contest on February 5 at Saint Peter’s College. Tip-off has been moved to 12 noon in Jersey City, N.J.
The Greyhounds are back home next weekend to host a pair of MAAC games on the ESPN family of networks. Friday’s contest against Iona at 7 o’clock will be televised on ESPNU, and the Sunday 4 o’clock battle versus Fairfield will be aired on ESPN3. Both of those games are also doubleheaders with the Loyola women hosting Iona and Fairfield at 4 p.m. and 12 noon, respectively.