Loyola University Maryland opens the month of February on Saturday afternoon when it wraps up its Western New York trip at Niagara University.
The Greyhounds and Purple Eagles will tip-off at 3 p.m. at the ‘Taps’ Gallagher Center.
Niagara holds a 35-17 advantage in the previous 52 meetings between the teams after winning the teams’ first meeting this season, 61-60, on December 5, 2012, in Baltimore. The game was the Greyhounds’ first in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action this season.
Loyola trailed by 10 with 4:10 play in that game, but the Greyhounds rallied to tie the game at 58-58 on a Tyler Hubbard free throw, but Juan’ya Green put Niagara back in front on a runner with 56 ticks left on the clock, and his two free throws with 28 seconds left sealed the game.
Last season, the Greyhounds won two of three meetings between the teams, the late January matchup in Western New York and a MAAC Quarterfinal contest in Springfield, Mass.
However, prior to those two Greyhound wins, Niagara had won nine of the last 10 games in the series, dating back to the January 12, 2007, when Loyola last won a home game in the series. That was a thrilling, 96-95, overtime victory in Reitz Arena.
In last year’s MAAC Quarterfinals, Dylon Cormier scored 15 of his game-high 23 points after halftime, and the Greyhounds shot a season-best 63-percent from the field to top the Purple Eagles, 86-73. After the teams were tied, 37-37, at the break, Loyola went up by seven less than four minutes in to the second half, only to see Niagara rally to pull within two with 13:39 to play. The Greyhounds, however, gained separation with a 13-3 run capped by a Robert Olson three with 8:52 on the clock.
Last Time Out
Canisius took a 21-point lead with more than 11 minutes to play on a Billy Baron 3-pointer, and shortly thereafter, the Golden Griffins were up 18 on a Jordan Heath three, but a pair of Robert Olson 3-pointers bookended a 13-0 Loyola run, and the Greyhounds were within five, 80-75, with just over four minutes to play.
The Golden Griffins, however, fended off the challenge to defeat Loyola, 91-79.
Olson scored a career-high 27 points, and he also led the team in rebounds (six), assists (five) and steals (four).
Five Canisius players – Heath (21), Isaac Sosa (19), Baron (16), Harold Washington (13) and Chris Manhertz (11) – all scored in double figures, while Heath contributed a double-double with 11 rebounds.
70 Not Enough
Scoring 70 points has been a bit of a magical number for the Greyhounds this season, as they entered the Iona game with a 5-0 record this year when scoring 70 or more points.
Versus the Gaels, Loyola tallied 71 points and suffered just its second loss in the last two years when scoring 70 or more points.
The same thing happened on Thursday night at Canisius where the Greyhound scored 79 points in a loss to the Golden Griffins. Loyola is now 16-3 since the start of the 2011-2012 season when hitting or exceeding that mark. The only other loss came in an 83-79 defeat to Rider on February 24, 2012.
Turnovers Not The Issue
The Greyhounds did not have a problem with turnovers against Iona or Canisius, committing just six against the Gaels and three versus the Golden Griffins. The three turnovers are a season low, while the six are tied for second fewest.
Loyola’s three turnovers against Canisius were the fewest in a game during Jimmy Patsos’ nine years at the school.
The team games have helped reduce the Greyhounds’ turnovers per game to 11.6 overall and 10.5 in MAAC play, both second in the conference.
Olson Scores Career-High
Robert Olson finished the game at Canisius with a career-best 27 points, making nine field goals, four from 3-point range, and all five of his free throws.
It marked the third time this season the senior guard has set a career-high in scoring. Entering the season, Olson had scored 21 on two occasions, and he topped that with 22-point game against Mount St. Mary’s on December 15. He then finished with 25 on January 13 against Rider before his 27-point performance at Canisius.
He enters the game on Saturday against Niagara with 1,097 career points, and with three more he will become the 27th player in school history to log 1,100. With 41 more points, Olson will move into the top 25 all-time at the school in scoring.
Doing The Other Things, Too
In addition to leading the team in scoring against Canisius, Robert Olson also led the team in rebounds (six), assists (five), steals (four) and minutes played (37).
His four steals were a season-high and one off his career-best, and the five assists matched his season-high from the December 8 game against Saint Peter’s.
High On Assists
The last two games have seen the Greyhounds record 18 assists twice, one off the season-high of 19 they set against Marist on January 17.
The losses mark the first time in more than three years that Loyola has lost a game when they finished with 18 or more. Loyola had 19 in a January 4, 2010, loss at home to Siena.
Scoring Off Turnovers
Loyola scored a season-high 32 points off Canisius turnovers on Thursday night. The Greyhounds tallied points on 14 of the Golden Griffins’ turnovers in the game for a success rate of 87.5-percent.
During the 13-0 Loyola run that cut the Greyhounds’ deficit from 18 to five late in the second half, Loyola forced turnovers on four-straight Canisius possessions, and scored each time thereafter.
Freshmen Take Step Forward
Freshmen Jarred Jones and Eric Laster each played key roles in the Greyhounds’ near comeback at Canisius. The duo combined for 14 points and two steals and were involved in several defensive stops during a 13-0 run.
Jones made both of his shot attempts and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line for eight points, and he added three rebounds and two steals in 14 minutes. Laster knocked down three shots to scored a career-high six points, and he also posted an assist.
Williams Continues To Spark Greyhounds
In five games since returning to the court on January 17, sophomore guard R.J. Williams is averaging 5.6 points, 3.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game.
In the Iona game, Williams matched his career-high with seven assists, tying the mark he set last January at Niagara.
Through five games, Williams has 18 assists and just three turnovers for the Greyhounds.
At Manhattan, Williams had steals on back-to-back Manhattan possessions that led to Loyola baskets, the first a Winbush layup and the second a fast-break Williams layup.
Williams has led the Greyhounds in minutes played twice in the four games, recording a career-high 39 minutes at Fairfield on January 21 and 38 on Friday at Manhattan.
Dylon Cormier led the Greyhounds in scoring for the 12th time in 22 games this season against Iona when he tallied 18 points. It was his return to the court after missing the January 25 game at Manhattan due to food poisoning.
In 22 games played this season, Cormier has scored in double figures all but once. The only time he did not reach 10 or more was on November 23 when he finished with nine at Rhode Island.
Additionally, Cormier has scored 15 or more points in 16 games.
The junior guard, who is averaging 17.4 points per game, went over the 1,000-point mark for his career on January 21 at Fairfield and enters the game versus Niagara with 1,038 career points. This season, he has scored 383, just 45 points shy of the 428 he tallied in 2011-2012.
He has consistently raised his game since his freshman season. Cormier averaged 8.1 as a freshman in 2010-2011, 13.4 last year and 17.4 this season. His rebounds per game have also risen from 3.0-3.3-4.7, as have his steals per game (0.8-1.6-1.8) and assists per game (1.1-1.8-2.4).
Stretching The Defense
Jordan Latham continued to show his ability to hit the mid-range jumper against Iona, making 5-of-8 field goals, all from 15 or more feet. Latham finished with 11 points, the second time in three games he has tallied double figures in the scoring category.
Latham also knocked down his first career 3-pointer against the Gaels, and he is now shooting a career-best 49.4-percent (41-of-83) from the field this year.
The 41 points Loyola yielded at Manhattan tied the Greyhounds’ Division I record for fewest points allowed in a game. Loyola, which joined Division I in 1981-1982, allowed 41 points on two other occasions, a 43-41 win over Marist College on February 23, 1984, and a 58-41 victory at Dartmouth on November 24, 2009.
Loyola held Manhattan to a season-low 41 points on Friday night, while the Jaspers made just 14 field goals, the fewest Loyola has allowed this season.
The 14 field goals by Manhattan were the fewest yielded by a Jimmy Patsos-coached Loyola team.
Opponents Under 50
Friday night was the third time this season Loyola has held an opponent to fewer than 50 points. The Greyhounds did so in the November 9 season-opener against Binghamton (45) and on November 17 against Norfolk State (49).
Loyola twice held opponents to sub-50 performances last season: February 3, 2012, against Rider (46) and March 5 versus Fairfield (44) in the MAAC Championship Game.
Over the nine years Jimmy Patsos has been head coach at Loyola, the Greyhounds have held opponents under 50 points nine times, all Greyhound wins. The nine games have all come in the last four seasons.
Winbush Shows Versatility
Anthony Winbush played 34 minutes at Manhattan and finished with nine points and a team-high eight rebounds. He was tabbed the ESPNU Player of the Game for his efforts that also included an assist and a steal.
This season, Winbush has led Loyola in rebounds nine times and assists on seven occasions.
In the 20 games he’s played, Winbush is averaging 6.4 points and 6.6 rebounds. He is tops on the team in total rebounds (132). He is third in total assists (47) and fourth in steals (19).
Cormier, Etherly Score 1,000th Points
On Monday night at Fairfield, Erik Etherly and Dylon Cormier became the 33rd and 34th players in Loyola men’s basketball history to reach 1,000 career points as Greyhounds, and they did so in the same game, a feat never before accomplished at Loyola.
Etherly scored his 1,000th on a layup just 15 seconds into the second half at Fairfield, and Cormier followed suit on a 3-pointer from the left corner 8:07 later.
1,000 Points In the Same Game
Prior to Monday night, through unofficial research, the last time a school had two players reach 1,000 points in the same game was nearly five years ago when Fernandez Lockett and Todd Babington of Austin Peay hit the plateau on March 7, 2008
However, it took just 24 hours for it to happen again as North Carolina State’s Richard Howell and Lorenzo Brown got to 1,000 in the Wolfpack’s 86-84 loss at Wake Forest on Tuesday night.
It is the first time in Loyola’s 103 seasons of men’s basketball that the program has had three players with 1,000 career points at the same time.
Three 1,000-Point Scorers In MAAC History
Since the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference was founded in 1980, this is just the sixth instance of a team touting three players with 1,000-plus points at the same time.
Iona (2000-2001, 2011-2012) and Siena (1999-2000, 2009-2010) have accomplished twice, while Loyola joins Niagara (2004-2005) with a one-time occurrence.
Win With Four Assists
Loyola’s win at Fairfield came with the Greyhounds assisting on just four of their 19 made baskets. It was also just one game removed from Loyola setting a season-best with 19 assists against Marist.
It is the first time since January 25, 2009, (an overtime victory against Marist) that the Greyhounds won a game with four or fewer assists. Additionally, it is just the third time this season that a MAAC team has won a game with four or fewer assists (Niagara has done it twice).
Over the last five seasons, Loyola is 16-28 when finishing with nine or less assists, and the Greyhounds are 3-6 when that happens this season.
Cormier Tops 20
Dylon Cormier scored 21 points at Fairfield, the fifth time this season he has scored 20 or more. In 13 career games that he has finished with 20 or more (seven times in 2011-2012 and once in 2010-2011), the Greyhounds are 12-1 with the only loss coming a few weeks ago at Memphis.
Brooks Also With Career-High
Julius Brooks tied his career-high with 12 points against Marist, matching the total he scored on December 15 in a win over Mount St. Mary’s.
Brooks also made a career-best six field goals on just eight attempts. Three of his baskets came on dunks. He also led Loyola with five rebounds.
Holding Opponents Under 60
The Greyhounds limited Manhattan to 41 points, the 11th time this season they have held an opponent to 59 or fewer on the scoreboard. Loyola has won all 11 of those games.
Including the 2011-2012 season, Loyola has held opponents to 59 or fewer 22 times, all victories.
Loyola leads the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference this season in scoring defense, allowing an average of 59.9 points per game. Last season, the Greyhounds allowed an average of 64.2 points per game.
Olson Sets Career-Highs
Robert Olson led all scorers at Rider, setting a career-high in scoring for the second time in a month. He finished with 25, eclipsing his previous best of 22 against Mount St. Mary’s on December 15, 2012.
Olson also set career-highs at Rider in field goals made (10), field goals attempted (22) and 3-pointers attempted (13).
Olson, who became the 32nd player in Loyola history to score his 1,000th point when he reached the mark in the second half against Saint Peter’s on Sunday, January 6.
Cormier Getting To The Line
Through 22 games played this season, Dylon Cormier has shot 157 free throws, an average of 7.1 per game.
He has already surpassed his made free throw total from a year ago when he made 108 in 160.
In his two-plus seasons at Loyola, Cormier has made 276-of-396 (69.6-percent) from the line, totals that are both 16th in school history.
Guards To The Boards
Robert Olson and Dylon Cormier, Loyola’s starting guards, combined for 15 rebounds at home against Fairfield. Olson grabbed a career-high eight – he had recorded seven on seven occasions – and Cormier was two off his season and career-high with seven.
This season, Cormier is averaging 4.7 rebounds per game, good for 16th in the MAAC, while Olson is just behind with 4.4 per game.
Olson has pulled down five or more boards 12 times this year, and Cormier has reached or exceeded that total nine times.
Erik Etherly became the most recent Loyola men’s basketball player to graduate, completing his undergraduate requirements in December for a bachelor of arts in communications with an emphasis in marketing and public relations. He joins Anthony Winbush – who graduated in May 2012 – as a graduate student on the Loyola roster this season. He will start his masters in education leadership this month.
Fourth To 100 Blocks
Erik Etherly matched his career-high with five blocked shots against Saint Peter’s, and in the process he became the fourth player in program history to swat 100 shots.
He joins Brian Carroll (1997-2001, 213 blocks), Shane Walker (2009-2012, 135) and George Sereikas (1989-1993, 117) in the 100-block club.
Loyola is now 9-0 when it shoots 45-percent or better in a game, and the Greyhounds are now 10-0 when scoring 65 or more points this season. The Greyhounds recently held both Saint Peter’s, Fairfield and Marist to 58 points, marking the marking the 11th time – all wins – that they have held an opponent short of 60.
Three stats stand out in the Greyhounds six losses this season. Loyola is now 2-6 when its opponents register a better shooting percentage, and 2-6 when its foes shoot more free throws in a game. Also, Loyola has averaged just 7.0 assists in the five losses.
In the games they have lost, the Greyhounds have shot 36.2-percent from the field, while their opponents hit at a 46.4-percent clip.
Opponents are shooting eight more free throws (26.3-18.3) per game in the six losses, as well.
Anthony Winbush notched the first double-double of his career on November 28 at Coppin State, scoring 12 points and grabbing a game-high 12 rebounds.
His 12 rebounds represented the 12th time in his tenure at Loyola that he has posted 10 or more rebounds, and it was the fourth time he has scored 10 or more points.
He also set a career-high in rebounds, eclipsing the 11 he posted in his seventh career game on November 29, 2008, at Vermont.
Senior guard Robert Olson was named one of 30 candidates for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award last week. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Olson was the Greyhounds’ third-leading scorer last season with 11.1 points per game and enters this season Loyola ranked fourth at Loyola in 3-point percentage (138-of-336, .4107) sixth in career 3-pointers made (138) and eighth in 3-pointers attempted (336). Last season, Olson was one of four Loyola players to earn All-MAAC honors, picking up Third Team mention and later All-Tournament honors.
The Loyola men’s basketball team scored the highest amongst squads in the State of Maryland in the most recent NCAA Graduation Success Rate report. The Greyhounds checked in with a 91-percent GSR, tops among the state’s nine Division I schools, for players who entered the school between 2002-2005.
Patsos Named Coach & Man Of The Year
Jimmy Patsos became the first Loyola coach to earn The Rock/Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors by a vote of his peers in the league.
Patsos guided the Greyhounds to a school Division I high 24 wins and a program MAAC record 13 victories. He earned his 100th career coaching victory in November 2012 and led the Greyhounds to the No. 2 seed in the MAAC Championships.
Later in March, Patsos was named the Skip Prosser Man of the Year award for his work on and off the court, an honor presented by CollegeInsider.com.
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 last season. Patsos, who is now in his ninth 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).
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. Four players – junior guard Dylon Cormier (Cardinal Gibbons), junior forward Jordan Latham (City) and sophomore guard R.J. Williams and freshman forward Josh Forney (St. Frances) are products of schools within the city limits.
Loyola returns to Reitz Arena for a 9 p.m. game on Friday, February 8, against Siena College that will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
The Last Meeting
December 5, 2012
Rally Falls Short In Men's Basketball Loss To Niagara
Loyola University Maryalnd trailed by 10 with more than four minutes to play, but the Greyhounds tied the game in less than two minutes to play, but Niagara University pulled out a 61-60 MAAC win Wednesday night.