Stags catch Greyhounds at wire

The Baltimore Sun

There's no place like home for Loyola, except, apparently, when Fairfield visits Reitz Arena.

Loyola's five-game home winning streak ended last night when Fairfield used a 21-8 finishing run to knock off the Greyhounds, 69-67, in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play.

The Stags were also the last team before last night to beat Loyola at Reitz, 65-62, in February. They have won 16 of the past 17 regular-season meetings with Loyola.

Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos watched an 11-point lead dissolve during the final 10 minutes, watched the Greyhounds miss four potential game-winning shots at the end, and was left with big-picture perspective.

"This program has gained character the last four years," he said, "but you have to win."

Finishing is suddenly a problem. The Greyhounds (5-8, 1-2) have lost six of their past seven games, host Iona tomorrow and are off to Kansas next week.

"At some point," Patsos said, "you've got to make some plays."

Loyola held a 67-62 lead with 2:21 to play when Gerald Brown converted Brian Rudolph's steal into a layup, but the Greyhounds didn't score again.

The Stags (4-9, 2-1) got a go-ahead layup by Anthony Johnson with 52 seconds left. After a timeout, the Greyhounds missed two shots in close, and with 13 seconds left, Johnson hit one of two free throws. That made it a two-point game.

Omari Isreal rebounded Johnson's missed second shot and Brown drove the baseline in the frantic final seconds, then passed to an open Isaac Reid.

Reid, a freshman, launched an air ball, and the clock ran out as players scrambled for the ball.

Brown insisted the pass was the right play under the circumstances.

"A good, open shot is better than a difficult one," he said. "I got a lot of attention. There was a lot of pressure on Isaac, but I'd rather him do it now and get it out of the way."

Marquis Sullivan (Archbishop Spalding) led the Greyhounds with 16 points but missed a big three-point attempt late. Isreal had 15 points, including going 7-for-7 at the foul line.

Loyola scored 36 points in the paint but was hurt by Fairfield's shooting beyond the arc. Led by Mike Evanovich's 20 points, the Stags hit 10 of 20 three-point attempts.

FAIRFIELD-Hawkins 2-5 2-2 6, Evanovich 7-11 0-0 20, Han 4-7 3-4 13, Allen 1-4 2-2 5, Nero 2-5 4-5 8, D.Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Edney 3-8 1-1 8, A.Johnson 4-6 1-3 9. Totals 23-46 13-17 69. LOYOLA-Isreal 4-8 7-7 15, Tuck 6-8 0-0 12, Brown 4-12 2-2 12, Harvey 2-6 0-1 4, Sullivan 6-14 0-0 16, Reid 2-8 0-0 4, Manning 0-0 0-0 0, Rudolph 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 26-59 9-10 67. Half: Fairfield, 35-32. 3-point goals: F 10-20 (Evanovich 6-8, Han 2-3, Allen 1-3, Edney 1-5, Hawkins 0-1); L 6-22 (Sullivan 4-10, Brown 2-7, Reid 0-2, Harvey 0-3). Fouled out: Tuck. Rebounds: F 30 (A.Johnson 10); L 25 (Reid, Tuck 6). Assists: F 14 (Allen, Han 4); L 16 (Brown, Rudolph 4). Total fouls: F 13, L 19. A: 1,986.

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