ALBANY, N.Y. -- Loyola survived a full-court press and intense moments in the second half for a 64-59 victory over Fairfield in yesterday's quarterfinals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament at Times Union Center.
In their bid to reach the championship game for the second straight year, the third-seeded Greyhounds, who held on after leading by 18 points in the second half, will meet No. 1 seed Siena in today's semifinals at 6 p.m.
Gerald Brown (Douglass), the senior guard who has been pivotal in turning around Loyola's program, finished with 18 points, including 12 in the second half. He made a game-clinching layup on the right side with 13 seconds left.
"When we came out from the timeout, we knew we could not afford any mistakes. I had seen everyone go to the left, so I was going to head in the opposite direction, cut has hard as I could, and head down the lane," Brown said about the last play leading up to his layup.
Brett Harvey contributed 16 points, including four three-pointers, and Michael Tuck finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, but Brown was the biggest key down the stretch.
"We will never forget Gerald Brown. We would have never been here without him," Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos said. "He picked Loyola. He could have been gone anywhere in Baltimore or Maryland. He called the plays and made sure everyone did what they were supposed to do. He made some big plays for us."
Fourth seed Fairfield (14-16) played physically from the tip-off for a brief three-point lead early in the game.
However, the Stags' aggressiveness resulted in 12 first-half fouls. The fouls led to many of Tuck's nine points and Harvey's eight, helping the Greyhounds to a 34-21 halftime lead.
Trailing 44-26 with 3:26 gone in the second half, Fairfield went on an 11-0 run that started with back-to-back three-pointers from Herbie Allen and Warren Edeny.
That was followed by a steal by Devin Johnson, which set up a jump shot by Allen and a three-pointer by Mamadou Diakhate.
Loyola allowed Fairifield to get closer midway through the second half when Diakhate made a fast-break layup before being intentionally fouled by Marquis Sullivan (Archbishop Spalding). Diakhate made one of two shots to cut Loyola's lead to five points.
"I think we were relaxed a little bit coming out at halftime," Patsos said. "It was a tough game. Every time that we play Fairfield, it is always a tough game."
FAIRFIELD-A.Johnson 3-9 3-4 9, Han 5-13 2-4 14, M.O'Sullivan 3-8 0-1 8, Allen 3-3 0-0 8, Edney 4-6 2-4 11, D.Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Hawkins 0-2 0-0 0, Jordan 0-0 0-0 0, Diakhate 2-5 3-5 8, Evanovich 0-2 0-0 0, Nero 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 20-49 11-20 59. LOYOLA-Brown 6-11 5-7 18, Rudolph 2-5 3-6 7, Isreal 2-5 0-1 4, Harvey 6-13 0-1 16, Tuck 5-12 2-2 14, Lewis 0-1 2-2 2, Sullivan 1-2 0-0 3, Fofana 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-50 12-19 64. Half-Loyola 34-21. 3-point goals-Fairfield 8-16 (Allen 2-2, M.O'Sullivan 2-3, Han 2-5, Diakhate 1-1, Edney 1-2, Hawkins 0-1, Evanovich 0-2), Loyola 8-20 (Harvey 4-11, Tuck 2-2, Sullivan 1-2, Brown 1-4, Rudolph 0-1). Fouled out-Tuck. Rebounds-Fairfield 28 (A.Johnson, M.O'Sullivan 6), Loyola 37 (Tuck 8). Assists-Fairfield 11 (Han 8), Loyola 14 (Rudolph 6). Total fouls-Fairfield 20, Loyola 19. A-n/a.