The Greyhounds will play in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Semifinals for the first time since 2008 when they take on sixth-seeded Siena College at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 4.
Springfield, Mass., and the MassMutual Center will host all games in the tournament.
MAAC Championships History
Loyola is competing in the MAAC Championships for the 23rd year. The Greyhounds are 9-21 all-time in the championships.
Sunday will be just Loyola fourth trip to the MAAC semifinals, joining the teams from 1994, 2007 and 2008. The Greyhounds are 1-3 all-time in the semifinals. For a complete breakdown of the Greyhounds in the Championships, go to page eight of the game notes.
Sunday’s game will be the 55th all-time meeting between Loyola and Siena with the Saints holding a 36-18 advantage in the all-time series. It will be the second meeting between the teams in the MAAC Championships. Siena won a come-from-behind 65-63 decision in the 2008 semifinals.
Loyola swept the home-and-home this season with the Saints, winning, 66-59, on December 3, 2011, at the Times-Union Center in Albany, N.Y., and 66-55 on January 19 in Baltimore.
The Greyhounds used a 22-2 run midway through the second half in Baltimore after Siena led 47-40. Dylon Cormier and Robert Olson each scored eight during the run, and the duo finished with 17 and 16 points, respectively.
When the Greyhounds and Saints played in Albany, Loyola went up 13-2 early in the game and led 30-19 at halftime.
Dylon Cormier made 5-of-6 from 3-point range and finished with a game-high 22 points. Shane Walker added 10 points to go with nine rebounds and four assists. Evan Hymes scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half for Siena.
Cormier averaged 19.5 points per game in the two against the Saints this season.
Loyola recorded its best shooting performance of the season on Saturday night, going 29-of-46 from the floor, 63-percent.
The outing was 10 percentage points better than the Greyhounds’ previous best this season when they shot 52.9-percent from the field (27-of-51) at Bucknell on December 28, 2011.
Loyola’s 29 field goals made were its second-most of the year, behind the 32 it made on February 10 against Iona.
The Greyhounds used a 44-22 advantage in the paint as part of its path to victory over the Purple Eagles. The 44 points in the paint also represent a season-high, eclipsing the 42 the Greyhounds put up against both Coppin State (November 14) and Iona (February 10).
Twenty-two is the most Loyola has outscored an opponent in the paint this season, too. The previous largest deficit was 16 (42-26) against Coppin State.
Cormier & Etherly Over 20
For the third time this season, Dylon Cormier and Erik Etherly both eclipsed the 20-point mark in the same game. Cormier finished with a game-high 23, and Etherly had 21.
The duo previously topped 20 together at UMBC and at home against Iona, both Greyhounds’ wins.
Etherly now has three 20-point games in his career, each time in a game Cormier has 20 or more, too.
Spread The Wealth
Loyola finished the game with 15 assists as three players recorded three or more. Each starter had at least one helper, while Robert Olson led the way with a career-high tying five. Shane Walker dished out four, tying his season-best, and Dylon Cormier added three.
Shane Walker notched his third double-double of the season on Saturday night, going for 13 points and 12 rebounds. He scored nine of his points in the first half, scoring seven of Loyola’s first nine points of the game. He also had four assists and blocked two shots in 37 minutes of action.
Getting To The Line
In a game that featured seven fouls before the first media timeout, there were plenty of free throws to go around, and the Greyhounds took advantage.
Loyola made 23-of-29 free throws in the game (79.3-percent), as ever player who saw six or minutes of action made at least one.
The 29 free throw attempts are tied for fourth most this year by Loyola. The Greyhounds improved to 18-2 when going to the free-throw line more times than their opponents.
Bouncing Back From Three
It took over 22 minutes of game action, but the Greyhounds hit their first 3-pointer since Justin Drummond made one with 7:59 to play at Rider on Friday, February 24. The Greyhounds snapped a streak of 331 games with at least one 3-pointer last Sunday when they went 0-of-8 against Manhattan.
In all, the Greyhounds went more than 70 minutes without sinking a three until Dylon Cormier hit one with 17:51 to play in regulation. That shot also gave Loyola the lead for good in the game.
Loyola broke out of the slump in the second half, going 5-of-7 from behind the arc after the break.
Last Time Out
An Ameen Tanksley jumper with just over 18 minutes to go put Niagara up one, but Dylon Cormier hit a three seconds later to give Loyola the lead for good. The Greyhounds would build their lead to seven over the next two minutes, but Niagara kept the contest close throughout most of the remainder of the game.
Loyola used runs of 9-0 and 7-0 through the latter half to break open a cushion and go on to an 86-73 victory over the Purple Eagles in the MAAC Quarterfinals on Saturday night.
First Time As A Two
Loyola entered the MAAC Championships as a No. 2 seed for the first time in 23 trips to the tournament. Prior to this year, the Greyhounds had never been higher than a three seed, the slot they held in 2006-2007.
Best MAAC Finish
Loyola defeated Manhattan last Sunday afternoon to earn its 13th Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory of the season, setting a program record in the process. The Greyhounds twice finished their MAAC schedule 12-6 (2006-2007 and 2007-2008), a game shy of this year’s record.
Loyola also finished alone in second place in the conference standings, improving on its previous best finish when it tied for second with a 10-4 league mark in 1996-1997.
The Greyhounds’ victory over Boston University on February 19 was their 20th of the season, setting a school Division I record.
Loyola, which moved to NCAA Division I in 1981-1982, had won 19 games in 2007-2008 and 18 in 2006-2007.
The overall school record for victories, 25, game in 1948-1949.
Patsos Named Coach Of The Year
On Thursday night, 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 has guided the Greyhounds to a school Division I high 22 wins and a program MAAC record 13 victories. He earned his 100th career coaching victory in November and led the Greyhounds to the No. 2 seed in the MAAC Championships.
Drummond Picks Up 6th Man Award
Justin Drummond became the fifth Loyola player to earn MAAC 6th Man Of the Year honors in the last eight seasons when he picked up the award on Thursday night. He led all bench players in the league with 11.1 points, fourth on the team, and he was third on the squad with 4.2 rebounds per game.
For the first time since the league expanded to three All-MAAC teams in 1998, four Greyhounds received all-league honors, topping all teams in the conference. Erik Etherly was named to the All-MAAC First Team, Dylon Cormier to the Second, and Justin Drummond and Robert Olson to the Third.
Loyola led all teams in the MAAC with its four selections, just in front of Iona’s three.
The Greyhounds’ previous high was at the end of the 1997-1998 season when Mike Powell (1st), Jason Rowe (2nd) and Roderick Platt (3rd) earned All-MAAC honors.
Etherly led Loyola in scoring (13.3) and rebounding (7.4) during conference play, and he is second overall on the team with 13.4 points per game. He also is tied for fourth in the league with teammate Shane Walker with 39 blocked shots, and he is fourth in field-goal percentage (.540).
Cormier has led the team throughout the season in scoring with a 13.9 points, and he has shot 46.5-percent from the field. Cormier is third in the conference with 1.7 steals per game, and he has topped the 20-point mark eight times this year.
Drummond has come off the bench in 26 of the Greyhounds’ 30 games this year and is fourth on the team with 11.1 points per game. The guard is also third in rebounding (4.2). He has scored in double figures 15 times this year.
Olson has been one of the top 3-point shooters in the conference this year. He has shot .440 from behind the arc, second-best in the MAAC, and has averaged 11.3 points per game. The junior guard entered the month of January averaging less than nine points per game, but since then he has been the team’s second-leading scorer at nearly 13 a contest.
More Than 60 Years
The last time the Loyola men’s basketball program won 20 games in a season, 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.
Billy Joel, Joe Theismann, Bruce Springsteen & Meryl Streep were born.
Milestones And Firsts
Loyola has accomplished several milestones and firsts throughout the 2011-2012 season. Here is a sample of a few:
First 20-win season in Division I history.
Program MAAC record with 13 league wins and best conference finish (2nd).
Tied school Division I record with eight non-conference wins (1993-1994).
Longest winning streak in school Division I history (8, Nov. 14-Dec. 10). Also, second longest winning streak in D-I history (7, Jan. 19-Feb. 10).
First back-to-back sellouts of Reitz Arena since the venue opened in 1984 (Feb. 3 and 10).
Snapped Bucknell’s 18-game home court winning streak.
Winning Without A Three
Loyola completed a rare accomplishment last Sunday at Manhattan, defeating the Jaspers despite not making a 3-pointer in the game. The Greyhounds attempted just eight from behind the arc.
The last time the Greyhounds won a game without making a 3-pointer was February 27, 1996, when they defeated Siena, 67-53, in Reitz Arena, a span of 438 games. Loyola was 0-of-9 in that win over the Saints.
Loyola is 10-2 this season when four or more players score in double figures, and prior to Friday’s defeat at Rider, it had not lost since the season-opener on November 11 at Wake Forest. The Greyhounds are also 20-3 when three or more players top 10.
Transversely, the Greyhounds are just 2-5 when two or fewer players tally 10 or more with their only wins coming on December 7 at George Washington and Sunday at Manhattan.
45-Percent Or Better
Loyola improved to 12-1 this season when shooting 45.0-percent or better from the field with its win over Niagara. The only loss the Greyhounds have suffered when shooting that mark or better was on February 24 when they went 25-of-55 (.455) from the field at Rider and lost by four.
Loyola’s three most recent losses underscored the importance for the Greyhounds of capitalizing on a few areas of the box score. Seven of Loyola’s eight losses have come when scoring fewer transition points – and the eighth loss was in a game that the teams tied in the category – than its opponents.
The Greyhounds also dropped to 2-6 this year in the eight games they have shot fewer free throws than their opponents, compared to 18-2 when shooting more.
Loyola is also 4-8 when its opponents have a better field-goal percentage, compared to 17-0 when the Greyhounds shoot at a better clip.
Leading The Charge
Robert Olson and Erik Etherly paced the Greyhounds in their 18 MAAC games as the top two scorers. Etherly again is slightly ahead of Olson, scoring-wise, tallying 239 (13.3 per game) points to Olson’s 225 (12.5).
The duo shot 48.6-percent from the field (159-of-327) during league play, and Olson was 42-of-94 (.447) from 3-point range.
Olson’s Last 15
Robert Olson entered the month of January averaging 8.9 points per game through Loyola’s first 11, and he stayed right on that track in the first two games of 2012, scoring a combined 17.
Since then, however, he has averaged 13.3 points per game, starting with a 16-point game on January 7 against Canisius. The game against the Golden Griffins started a stretch of 11-straight in which Olson scored 11 or more points and had 15 or more seven times. During the last 15 games, Olson has shot 70-of-141, 49.6-percent, from the field and 43-of-89 (.483) from behind the 3-point line.
Currently, he is second in the MAAC In 3-point percentage and 13th in field-goal percentage, fourth amongst guards.
Against the Purple Eagles, he hit two threes and moved into sole possession of 10th on the single-season threes list at Loyola.. His 134 career threes are sixth in school history.
Six Under Sixty
For the first time in its NCAA Division I history (since 1981-1982), Loyola held six consecutive opponents to fewer than 60 points.
During the span, 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.
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.
Tied For Third In Road Wins
As of the beginning of the week, Loyola’s 11 road wins are tied for third in NCAA Division I. Murray State leads the way with 13 wins away from home, and Wagner is second with 12, while the Greyhounds were tied with MAAC foe Iona, Drexel, Cleveland State, Lehigh and Robert Morris.
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. He now has 130 in his career, second all-time.
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 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.
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.