A goodbye with style

The Baltimore Sun

On his second chance to say goodbye, Gerald Brown delivered an eloquent, 27-point farewell speech at Reitz Arena last night.

What Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos appreciated more, though, was Brown's first-half defense in an 88-77 victory over Canisius.

"Even though Gerald scored 27, he led us with his defense," Patsos said. "He played really good defense in the first half. When your best player goes on the floor for the ball, it says something. Gerald means a lot to this program."

In what amounted to an unofficial senior night for five Greyhounds, Brown (Douglass) and junior guard Marquis Sullivan showed the way to first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

The Greyhounds' fourth straight win enabled them to temporarily break the four-way tie for the MAAC lead and move ahead of Niagara, Rider and Siena, who all play tonight.

With one regular-season game left, the Greyhounds need to win at Marist on Sunday for a chance at the No. 1 seed in the MAAC tournament.

It was Brown's defense and Sullivan's offense that helped the Greyhounds (18-12, 12-5) open a 23-point lead in the first half against the cold-shooting Golden Griffins (5-23, 2-15).

Sullivan (Archbishop Spalding) scorched Canisius for six three-pointers - in seven shots - for 20 points in the first half. He attempted only one three in the second half but finished with a career-high 28 points.

Brown turned into an offensive threat in the second half with 19 of his 27.

He said he was more emotional in the official Senior Night sendoff Saturday, when Loyola beat UC Davis. His 16 points notwithstanding, Brown wanted to finish better last night.

"Three years ago when I came, I had a goal," Brown said. "I told Jimmy I was going to get Baltimore [basketball] back where it needs to be."

Sullivan lost his starting job earlier in the season but has become the MAAC's best sixth man since then. He has scored in double figures in 17 of 21 games off the bench this season.

"I think I am more relaxed coming off the bench," Sullivan said. "I think teams start to forget about me."

It was hard to miss him last night. He made his first six shots from beyond the arc, and Loyola improved its home record to 11-2, the school's best season percentage-wise in the conference.

The game was never in doubt, although Canisius drew within 11 late in the second half. The five seniors - Brown, Michael Tuck, Omari Isreal, Hassan Fofana and Greg Manning - got to celebrate their farewell twice.

ken.murray@baltsun.com

CANISIUS-Logins 6-10 4-5 17, R.Johnson 0-2 1-2 1, Turner 7-15 3-3 17, Bevilacqua 6-11 0-0 16, Frazier 0-3 2-2 2, Goldsberry 0-1 0-0 0, Coles 0-1 0-0 0, Hassell 3-11 0-0 8, Malesa 3-5 0-0 8, Vazquez-Simmons 3-5 1-2 8. Totals 28-64 11-14 77. LOYOLA-Isreal 1-4 2-2 4, Tuck 5-10 6-6 16, Brown 9-14 6-6 27, Harvey 0-4 0-0 0, Rudolph 5-11 3-4 13, Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Sullivan 7-10 8-9 28, Manning 0-1 0-0 0, Ficke 0-0 0-0 0, Fofana 0-1 0-0 0, Kelly 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-55 25-27 88. Half-Loyola 40-25. 3-point goals-Canisius 10-28 (Bevilacqua 4-7, Malesa 2-4, Hassell 2-7, Vazquez-Simmons 1-3, Logins 1-3, Turner 0-2, Frazier 0-2), Loyola 9-18 (Sullivan 6-8, Brown 3-6, Tuck 0-1, Manning 0-1, Harvey 0-2). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Canisius 31 (Logins 8), Loyola 34 (Isreal 9). Assists-Canisius 8 (Turner 4), Loyola 16 (Rudolph 6). Total fouls-Canisius 19, Loyola 14. A-1,549.

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