Loyola University Maryland will make its final road trip of the 2012-2013 regular-season on Friday, March 1, to New Rochelle, N.Y., where the Greyhounds will face host Iona College.
Tip-off for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game is slated for 7 p.m. in the Hynes Athletic Center.
On The Tube
The game will be featured nationally on ESPN2, marking the second time in as many seasons that the Greyhounds have been picked for the MAAC’s Game of the Week on the network on the league’s Wild Card broadcast.
Doug Sherman will call the play-by-play, and Derek Whittenburg will provide the analysis.
Loyola and Iona will meet for the 56th time in series history when the teams take the court on Friday. The Gaels hold a 42-13 advantage in the series after defeating the Greyhounds, 79-71, on January 27, in Baltimore.
The Greyhounds fell behind by 15 with more than five minutes left in the game, but they cut the Iona lead to five with 1:57 on the clock, but the Gaels pulled away for the win.
Lamont Jones tallied 23 in the win for Iona, while Sean Armand finished with 14, and Tre Bowman scored 11. David Laury scored 10 and had a game-high 14 rebounds for the Gaels.
Loyola trailed Tennessee State by 11, 65-54, with 8:16 remaining in regulation on Saturday night in Nashville, but the Greyhounds allowed only two more Tigers’ points, and Loyola came away with a 69-67 victory in Bracketbuster play.
Two Jordan Cyphers free throws game Tennessee State a 65-54 lead, but Loyola scored the next 13 points to take just its second lead of the game, 67-65, on a Dylon Cormier layup with 3:53 showing. Previously, the Greyhounds had only led, 3-2, in the first two minutes of the contest.
After Cormier’s basket, Patrick Miller went to the free-throw line twice with two shots for the Tigers, but he made just 1-of-2 both times, and the teams were tied at 67-67 with 2:57 remaining. Neither team would score, going a combined 0-of-9 from the field, until Dylon Cormier was fouled going to the basket with 11 ticks on the clock. Cormier made both free throws, and a last-second Tennessee State shot went amiss.
Erik Etherly finished with a game-high 26 points, and Cormier added 20, in the win for Loyola. Etherly had a team-best eight rebounds, and R.J. Williams dished out five assists.
Since We Last Met
Loyola’s loss to Iona on January 27 was the first of a two-game skid for the Greyhounds who also fell on January 31 at Canisius.
Following that game against the Golden Griffins, however, Loyola is 5-1.
Saturday’s victory at Tennessee State was the Greyhounds’ 20th of the 2012-2013 season, marking the second time in as many years Loyola has reached the 20-win plateau. It is the first back-to-back 20-win seasons in school Division I history (since 1981-1982) and just the fifth overall.
Loyola previously put three-straight 20-win seasons together from 1946-1949 under the direction of head coach Emil “Lefty” Reitz.
More Than 60 Years
The last time the Loyola men’s basketball program won 20 games in back-to-back seasons, 1948-1949, the following things were going on in the world, 63 years ago:
Harry Truman began his first full term as President of the United States.
Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman premiered on Broadway.
NATO was formed.
The Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League merged to form the NBA.
The first jet-powered airliner, the de Havilland Comet, took flight.
Taking Down A Home-Court Winning Streak
On Saturday night, Loyola snapped a winning streak of 10 or more games for the second year in a row. The Greyhounds broke Tennessee State’s 10-game homecourt winning streak that to February 2012 when then-No. 14 Murray State beat the Tigers in the Gentry Center. Over the last two seasons, Tennessee State is now 20-2 at home.
Last season, Loyola halted Bucknell’s 18-game homecourt streak.
Etherly One Off Career-High
Erik Etherly finished Saturday night with a game-high 26 points, finishing one off his career-best set last year at UMBC.
Against the Tigers, Etherly made a career-best 10 field goals and needed just 14 attempts. It was his most efficient game of the season when taking more than 10 shots, surpassing a 9-of-14 (25 points) outing he had on February 8 against Siena.
Back In The Fold
Since R.J. Williams returned to the Loyola rotation on January 17, the Greyhounds have gone 8-3 with losses to Iona, Canisius and Marist.
The sophomore point guard has averaged 31.4 minutes per game in those 11 games and has led Loyola with 41 assists (3.7 per game) during that stretch. He has a 2:1 assist:turnover ratio with 20 miscues.
Williams has distributed four or more assists seven times and led the Greyhounds in helpers in seven of the 10 games he’s played.
Another 20-Point Game For Cormier
Dylon Cormier recorded his second-straight 20-point effort last Saturday, making 7-of-16 field goals and 5-of-7 from the free-throw line at Tennessee State. He has led Loyola in scoring throughout the season and is currently fourth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with 17.1 points per game. Cormier has scored 15 or more 20 times this season.
Cormier earned Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors on February 18 after averaging 20.5 points and 4.0 steals in wins over Canisius and Siena the weekend prior.
He led all players with 24 points, going 9-of-10 from the free-throw line at Siena, and he also tied his season-high with five steals.
After Marist (February 10) was just the second team (Rhode Island) to hold Cormier to fewer than 10 points in a game, he rebounded with a 17-point effort last Thursday night in a win over Canisius, a team that was tied with Loyola for second-place in the league at the time.
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 17.1 this season. His rebounds per game have also risen from 3.0-3.3-4.4, as have his steals per game (0.8-1.6-2.0) and assists per game (1.1-1.8-2.4). He currently leads the MAAC in steals (57) and steals per game (2.0).
Defense Down The Stretch
Loyola used suffocating defense to close out the game against Tennessee State after trailing by as many as 13 in the second half.
The Tigers did not score a field goal for the final 10 minutes of the game, and they made just four free throws in that span. All nine of Tennessee State’s field goals went awry as Loyola scored 18 of the final 22 points. The Greyhounds also forced six Tigers turnovers in those 10 minutes.
Loyola finished its participation in the Bracketbuster event, which is being dissolved following this year, with a 6-2 overall record.
This season, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference teams went 7-3 in the competition.
Runs Lead The Way
Loyola used two considerable runs to pull away at Siena. The Greyhounds went on a 22-5 run that spanned nearly eight minutes of first-half action, to extend a 13-11 lead to 33-14.
During that run, Siena committed four turnovers and missed three field goals and three free throws.
In the second half, Loyola executed a 15-0 run in a span of just over three minutes that took its lead from 37-31 to 52-31. Loyola forced three Siena turnovers, two on Greyhound steals, in that stretch, and all four of the Saints’ shots misfired while two were blocked.
Olson Stretch Scoring
Robert Olson tallied six points in the first half at Siena, but he came out of halftime dialed in and connected for nine during the Greyhounds’ 15-0 run in the early going. He scored seven in a row to start the run on a two, a three and a pair of free throws.
The senior guard finished with 20 points, the sixth time this season and the 10th time in his career that he’s tallied 20 or more.
In the Greyhounds’ two games last week, Olson was 13-of-24 from the field and 8-of-14 from 3-point range. He made four threes in both games, wins over Canisius at home and Siena on the road.
Two of his threes against Canisius came during the last 10 minutes of action as answers to rallies when the Golden Griffins had trimmed the Loyola lead to three and four points. His three field goals that were not from behind the arc all came from 18 feet or longer.
Olson’s defense against Canisius was also key for Loyola in the win. He had a season-high five steals, one off his career-high.
Brooks Big In Starting Role
Julius Brooks made his first appearance in the Loyola starting lineup since November 28 on Valentine’s Day against Canisius, and his play paid dividends for the Greyhounds. Brooks, who has now started seven games this season, scored 13 points and had a team-high six rebounds while blocking a shot.
The senior forward made all eight of his shots against the Golden Griffins, hitting five from the field and three from the free-throw line.
He followed that game with his second-straight double-figure scoring outing, the first time he has accomplished that in his tenure at Loyola. Brooks made 5-of-7 shots and finished with 10 points at Siena.
Moving Up Career Charts
After the Tennessee State game, Robert Olson in 22nd all-time at Loyola with 1,186 career points. With 23 more, he will crack the Top-20 in program history.
It was also the 121st game played of Olson’s career, moving him into a tie for second-place all-time with Brett Harvey. With three more games played, Olson will tie Brian Rudolph for most games played in school history.
Elsewhere on the Loyola career charts, Olson is now second in 3-pointers made (195) behind only Sullivan’s 281. He is also 23rd in field-goals made (401), third in 3-pointers attempted (515), tied for 16th in assists (221) and eighth in steals (116).
Loyola had a season-high 12 steals in the first meeting with Siena with six players having at least one. Dylon Cormier, who leads the Greyhounds with 1.9 per game this season, had a game-high four steals, while Erik Etherly had three and Robert Olson tallied one.
The Greyhounds’ previous best was 11 steals on November 17 against Norfolk State.
Overtime Under Patsos
In Jimmy Patsos’ eight-plus seasons at Loyola, the Greyhounds have played just 10 overtime games, but they have won nine of them. The only loss in nine overtime games came during 2009 against Coppin State.
This year’s squad is 3-0 in extra time this year, winning at Rhode Island and Niagara at home versus Fairfield.
When 45 Minutes Isn’t Enough
Loyola’s February 2 double overtime win at Niagara was the first Loyola game in over 11 years that lasted more than 45 minutes. The last time the Greyhounds played double overtime or more was a triple-overtime defeat on January 10, 2002, at Siena. That season, Loyola also played a double overtime game on November 19, 2001, losing at Coppin State.
Three Overtimes In A Season
The last time Loyola played three or more overtime games in a season was 1990-1991, the program’s season year in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. That year, the Greyhounds played extra time at Saint Peter’s and Niagara (four overtimes, the longest game in program history) and at home versus Iona and Saint Peter’s (three overtimes).
The last time six Loyola players scored in double figures was on January 30, 2011, when the Greyhounds topped Iona, 88-85, in overtime at home.
Olson With 20+ Twice
Robert Olson enjoyed the cold, windy weather in Western New York during the Greyhounds’ recent road trip, averaging 25.0 points in Loyola’s games at Canisius and Niagara. The senior guard scored a career-high 27 at Canisius and had 23 versus the Purple Eagles, marking the first time in his collegiate career he has scored 20 or more in back-to-back games.
Olson, who now has nine 20-plus point efforts at Loyola, led the Greyhounds in rebounds (6), assists (5) and steals (4) at Canisius, and he then turned in five rebounds and two assists versus Niagara.
Against Niagara, he became the 28th player in school history to score 1,100 career points. With 1,120, he is the active career leader in point scored, and he needs 19 to move into 25th place all-time at Loyola.
Brooks’ Big Shot
Julius Brooks made the game-winning layup with time expiring on February 2 at Niagara, giving him a career-high 14 points. He made a career-best six field goals in just seven attempts, and he also finished with eight rebounds.
He has set or tied his career-high in scoring three times this season, first setting a new standard with 12 against Mount St. Mary’s on December 15 before tying that mark against Marist on January 17.
Brooks has logged four or more rebounds 14 times this season, and the Greyhounds are 12-2 in those contests.
Hit On 70
With its win at Siena, the Greyhounds improved to 8-2 this season when scoring 70 or more points in a game. Their only losses when scoring that many or more came at home against Iona and at Canisius.
Over the last two seasons, Loyola is now 18-3 when it scores 70 or more. Its only loss of that kind in 2011-2012 was in an 83-79 defeat at Rider.
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.
The 14 field goals by Manhattan were the fewest yielded by a Jimmy Patsos-coached Loyola team.
Opponents Under 50
The Manhattan game 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.
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 the Fairfield game, 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.
Holding Opponents Under 60
The Greyhounds limited Siena to 51 points, the 12th time this season they have held an opponent to 59 or fewer on the scoreboard. Loyola has won all 12 of those games. Including the 2011-2012 season, Loyola has held opponents to 59 or fewer 23 times, all victories.
Cormier Getting To The Line
Through 28 games played this season, Dylon Cormier has shot 199 free throws, an average of 7.1 per game. He has made 72.9-percent of those shots, a total of 145.
He has already surpassed his made free throw total from a year ago when he made 108-of-160. In his two-plus seasons at Loyola, Cormier has made 306-of-438 (69.9-percent) from the line.
Guards To The Boards
Dylon Cormier and Robert Olson, Loyola’s starting guards, are third and fourth on the team in rebounding this season with Olson averaging 4.6 and Cormier, 4.4.
Olson has pulled down five or more boards 16 times this year, and Cormier has reached or exceeded that total 10 times.
Loyola is now 13-0 when it shoots 45-percent or better in a game, and the Greyhounds are now 15-0 when scoring 65 or more points this season. Loyola is also 13-0 when holding opponents to 59 points or less.
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.