The Greyhounds return to Reitz Arena for a pair of weekend games, starting with a Friday night contest against Iona College, presented by M&T Bank. Loyola will host the Gaels at 7 p.m. in a nationally televised game from Reitz Arena. The game is the second of a Loyola-Iona doubleheader following a women's game between the schools at 4 p.m.
Loyola and Iona are currently tied for first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with identical 11-2 records. The Gaels defeated the Greyhounds in the first meeting between the two in January.
Tickets for the general public are sold out for the game. Loyola students, faculty and staff are encouraged to pick up their tickets to the game as soon as possible, as those tickets are running out.
A limited number of tickets may be available to the general public approximately an hour before the game.
On The Tube
Loyola and Iona 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 third on ESPNU this season following a 66-63 victory at Fairfield on January 13 and a 63-46 win last Friday at home versus Rider. This year, Loyola has already played eight 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. Mark Zinno 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 Iona will meet for the 54th time in series history when the teams take the court on Sunday. The Gaels hold a 41-12 advantage in the series after defeating Loyola, 74-63, on January 15, in New Rochelle, N.Y.
The Greyhounds led by as many as seven early in the second half, but a 9-0 run by Iona gave the Gaels a four-point lead with 12:13 to play. Justin Drummond and Dylon Cormier scored to tie the game again for Loyola, but Mike Glover tipped-in an offensive rebound to give Iona the lead for good moments later.
Robert Olson tied his career-high with 21 points, while, and Drummond added 12. Four Iona players scored in double figures, led by Lamont Jones' 25.
Six Under Sixty
For the first time in its NCAA Division I history (since 1981-1982), Loyola has held six consecutive opponents to fewer than 60 points.
Over the last six games, all Loyola victories, the Greyhounds have held Siena, Saint Peter's (twice), Niagara, Canisius and Rider to an average of 53.2 points per game.
The Greyhounds previously had held three 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 six-straight teams under 60, regardless of division, came in January-February 1977 when it held six teams in a row - Southampton, Saint Peter's, Randolph-Macon, Mount St. Mary's, Baltimore and Philadelphia Textile - to 59 or fewer. The Greyhounds, however, were just 3-3 in that stretch.
During The Six
Loyola's success during the last six games is reflected in several statistics. Opponents are shooting .387, .046 lower than the season average of .433. Also, Loyola has held foes to .241 from 3-point range, more than 10 points lower than the season mark of .350.
Following the Greyhounds' game at Iona on January 15, Loyola was ranked 265th in field-goal percentage defense (.449), 325th in 3-point defense (.389), and 163rd in scoring defense (66.2).
The last six games have moved the Greyhounds to 193rd in field goal percentage defense (.443), 215th in 3-point defense (.350) and 71st in scoring defense (62.8).
Fastest To 18
Loyola's win over Saint Peter's was the Greyhounds' 18th of the season, marking their fastest path to 18 victories since joining Division I for the 1981-1982 season. The Greyhounds' arrival at 18 wins after just 23 games came by a wide margin over the previous best.
The 2006-2007 squad, set the previous standard, reaching 18 wins in 30 games, seven more than this year's team.
Eighteen wins also are tied for the second-most in the program's Division I history. The 2006-2007 team finished 18-13, and the 2007-2008 side holds the record with a 19-14 mark.
Loyola's 18-5 start through its first 23 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 1947-1948 when "Lefty" Reitz's team opened its season with the same record through 23.
The best start through 23 games came in 1940-1941 when another Reitz-coached team that played only 23 games, finishing the year with a 19-4 record.
Good MAAC Start
With wins in 11 of its first 13 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 starts were 9-4 in both 2006-2007 and 2007-2008.
Reitz Was Rockin'
Last Friday night's game against Rider featured the first sellout crowd in Reitz Arena since November 14, 2008, when the Greyhounds hosted Mount St. Mary's. With only student tickets remaining for the Iona contest, it could be the first back-to-back sellouts since Reitz opened in December 1984.
Threes In The First
Robert Olson put on a shooting clinic in the first half of Sunday's win at Saint Peter's, making all four of his 3-point attempts and finishing the stanza with 14 points. While foul trouble limited him to nine second-half minutes, he finished with 19 points, two off his career-high, and he matched his season-high with five 3-pointers.
His only miss from behind the arc in the game came with 32 seconds left in the game. He fired a long three with the shot-clock expiring as Loyola was running out the clock.
Olson is now shooting 45.4-percent from 3-point range, and his 49 threes made this season are tied for 14th in school single-season history. His 3-point field goal percentage currently stands third in school single-season history.
Olson has made 121 threes in his career, good for seventh-best all-time at Loyola. With four more, he will tie Gerald Brown (2006-2008) for sixth.
Etherly's Last Nine
Erik Etherly continued his solid play of late with 15 points against both Rider and Saint Peter's. The game against the Broncs marked the fifth time in the Greyhounds' last eight that he has scored 15 or more points, and it raised his nine-game scoring average to 14.8 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.
During the stretch, Etherly has scored in double figures eight times - he finished with nine at Iona - and he has scored 15 or more six times.
Olson's January, Continued
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. He continued his stretch of scoring with 14 against Rider and 19 at Saint Peter's in February's first two contests.
In Loyola's last nine games, a stretch in which the Greyhounds are 8-1, Olson has averaged a team-best 15.6 points per game.
During those eight games, his low total is 11, coming at Niagara. He is shooting .552 from the field (48-of-87) and a more impressive .536 (30-of-56) from 3-point range. Olson has made at least two 3-pointers in each of the nine games and has three or more in all but two (at Niagara, Rider).
Senior Stepping Up
Shane Walker's play over the Greyhounds' last three games has been more in line with his season averages after tailing off some during the month of January.
Walker has averaged 12.7 points and 9.3 rebounds against Canisius, Rider and Saint Peter's, a stretch in which he also has eight assists, eight blocked shots and six steals.
In January's first eight games, every contest that month except for the date at Canisius, Walker scored just 5.4 points per game, shooting 26.5-percent from the field and 23.5-percent from 3-point range. His rebounds per game also dipped to 5.1.
Over the last three, however, Walker has shot 48.6-percent from the field and a modest 33.3-percent from 3-point range. He had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds at Canisius, a season-high 12 boards versus Rider, and then a 14-point, 5-steal performance at Saint Peter's.
Saint Peter's had 19 turnovers last Sunday, 15 as the result of Loyola steals. Shane Walker, Anthony Winbush and Robert Olson combined for 12 of the steals, as Walker had 5, Winbush 4 and Olson 3.
Last Time Out
Robert Olson was 4-of-4 from 3-point range in the first half, and the Greyhounds took a 32-23 lead into the locker room at Saint Peter's, and Loyola held off a second-half Peacocks' charge.
The Greyhounds were up by 15 just over eight minutes into the second half, but the Peacocks used a 12-2 run over five-plus minutes to pull within five, 51-46. Erik Etherly scored five in a row, and after three Saint Peter's free throws, Olson made his fifth three of the game, and Loyola was up by 10 or more the rest of the way.
Something Had To Give
Entering last Friday night's game against Rider, Loyola had held four consecutive opponents to 57 or fewer points, while the Broncs were averaging 87.5 points in their previous three games.
Loyola's defense prevailed in the contest, holding Rider to 12 points in the first half and just 46 overall. It was the Broncs' lowest scoring game since February 2008 when Fairfield held them to 40.
Almost 20 Years
Rider's 46 points were the fewest Loyola has allowed since the Greyhounds defeated Niagara, 68-45, on February 21, 1992, a stretch of 521 games.
Loyola has now held opponents to 49 or fewer points eight times since joining NCAA Division I in 1981-1982. The Greyhounds did it twice each in 1981-1982, 1984-1985 and 1991-1992 and once in 1983-1984.
Loyola held Rider to 30.6-percent from the floor (15-of-49), the lowest field-goal percentage of the season for a Greyhound opponent. The Broncs' 15 field goals made were the lowest of the year, as well.
Rider's field-goal percentage was the lowest by a Loyola opponent since Mount St. Mary's shot 28.8-percent (17-of-59) on December 11, 2010.
Loyola forced 12 Rider turnovers and held the Broncs to 3-of-23 (.130) from the field in the first half on Friday night. The Greyhounds used an 18-0 run to take a 24-5 lead with just under nine minutes to play before the break.
During the 7-minute, 6-second stretch of play, Rider was 0-of-8 from the field, went without an offensive rebound and had six turnovers.
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.
Loyola finished its game at Canisius game with 18 assists, tying its season-high set earlier this year against Florida Gulf Coast and when Canisius played in Baltimore.
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.
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.
FG Percentage Getting It Done
While not the most glamorous mark in the box score, Loyola is 14-0 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 10 road wins had them tied for second in all of NCAA Division I for victories away from its home court.
Cleveland State leads the way with 11, while the Greyhounds are tied with Murray State, Friday's foe Iona and Wagner.
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 14.0, more than a full rebound more per game that second-place Canisius (12.9).
Despite the team ranking, no Greyhounds player is higher than seventh in the conference in offensive rebounds per game. Erik Etherly is tied for sixth with 2.6, while Justin Drummond is 13th with 2.2.
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.