Gerald Brown and Niagara's Charron Fisher picked up where they left off five days earlier, engaging in another high-scoring shootout. Again, Fisher and the Purple Eagles got the best of the Greyhounds, winning, 92-87, before an announced 1,825 at Reitz Arena.
Fisher, the nation's leading scorer who had 31 points the last time these two teams met, topped that with a career-high 45 points on 15-for-27 shooting from the field.
"Loyola is a team I like to play against," said Fisher, a forward who scored 25 points in the first half as the Purple Eagles built a 55-43 halftime lead. "I get a little extra 'oomph' whenever we go against these guys."
The game started at a frenetic pace, with Fisher and Brown trading three-pointers during the first minute. They traded threes again four minutes later, and by the 12-minute mark, both players were in double figures, with Fisher at 13 points and Brown 11.
The Greyhounds cooled off, but Niagara, behind Fisher, kept hitting and ended the first half with 55 points, the most Loyola has given up in one half this season. The Purple Eagles, who shot 69 percent from the field in that half, looked to be in control of the game before Loyola made a second-half run.
Brown hit a quick three-pointer, which jump-started a 16-3 Loyola run to open the second half. They took the lead briefly at 59-58 on Michael Tuck's short jumper with 15:40 left, but Brown went cold as Niagara built an eight point lead with under seven minutes to play.
"I knew I had to make shots to keep us in the game," said Brown, who finished with 29 points on 10-for-27 shooting, including 2-for-10 from three-point range. "We came out a little flat."
Brett Harvey did his best to keep Loyola in it, scoring all 20 of his points in the second half. The sophomore guard tied the game at 81 with 3:07 left when he made all three free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt. Niagara scored the next seven points, however, to go ahead for good.
The Greyhounds (14-12, 9-5 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) have lost two of their past three after a six-game winning streak. They are tied with Niagara (15-8, 9-5) for third place in the conference.
"I always said if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, and we have to learn to do that," coach Jimmy Patsos said.
NIAGARA-Fisher 15-27 11-17 45, Egemonye 1-1 1-2 3, Hodge 6-13 6-10 20, Lewis 5-7 3-3 17, Nelson 1-3 1-2 3, Patterson 0-1 0-0 0, Williamson 1-2 0-0 2, Gordon 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 30-55 22-34 92. LOYOLA-Isreal 6-9 1-2 13, Tuck 2-5 0-0 4, Brown 10-27 7-9 29, Harvey 5-8 7-7 20, Rudolph 4-10 5-5 14, Lewis 0-0 2-2 2, Sullivan 1-3 0-0 3, Manning 0-0 0-0 0, Fofana 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 29-63 22-25 87. Halftime-Niagara 55-43. 3-point goals-Niagara 10-20 (Lewis 4-5, Fisher 4-7, Hodge 2-6, Williamson 0-1, Patterson 0-1), Loyola 7-21 (Harvey 3-3, Brown 2-10, Rudolph 1-3, Sullivan 1-3, Tuck 0-2). Fouled out-Isreal, Lewis. Rebounds-Niagara 34 (Fisher 9), Loyola 33 (Isreal 7). Assists-Niagara 8 (Hodge, Lewis 3), Loyola 13 (Rudolph 5). Total fouls-Niagara 24, Loyola 21. Technicals-Nelson, Loyola. Bench. A-1,825.