Loyola 0-7 at home after loss to Fairfield

Greyhounds fall, 64-53, after Stags score 21 consecutive points

College Basketball

January 21, 2002|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The opposing coach remained undefeated in Reitz Arena and host Loyola College remained winless on its own floor.

That was the bottom line yesterday as Fairfield built an 18-point halftime lead, then labored to a 64-53 victory over the Greyhounds in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game.

It was the first of two consecutive meetings between the MAAC rivals, who play again Wednesday in Bridgeport, Conn., because of a quirk in the league scheduling.

Loyola (2-14, 1-6) is now 0-7 at home this season and is in the throes of a nine-game losing streak, while Stags coach Tim O'Toole has a 4-0 career record at Reitz.

The Greyhounds captured their only lead of the game, 17-15, on a layup by freshman Bernard Allen. Using their superior size to their advantage, the Stags scored the next 21 points.

The young Loyola team went more than nine minutes without a point until Allen hit a three-pointer 25 seconds before the half. That stretch was the ballgame.

"They've got an NBA front line, 6-10, 6-10, 6-11, and we were getting very few shots. It was very difficult to score in the paint," said Greyhounds coach Scott Hicks. "Plus, we had to alter a lot of them.

"Our shot selection in the first half was also very poor, and we didn't play with nearly enough poise on offense [15 turnovers in 20 minutes]."

The Greyhounds fared much better after the break, cutting the deficit to seven points four times before being undermined by a turnover here, or a poor shot there.

"We played the second half with much more toughness and confidence," said Hicks. "But we couldn't get over the hump."

It didn't help that B.J. Davis, one of the Greyhounds' biggest outside threats, sprained an ankle in the first half and sat out the rest of the game.

Fairfield (5-10, 4-4) had lost three of its past four and five of its past seven before the game, but freshman Deng Gai from the Sudan (17 points, nine rebounds, three blocks) led the Stags' dominance in the paint.

Ajou Deng, a transfer from Connecticut who was also born in the Sudan, added 12 points and nine rebounds and sophomore Rob Thomson, the third member of the tall trio, contributed 11 points and five rebounds.

"Deng Gai was great," said O'Toole. "He jumps so high and alters many shots that he doesn't block. We tried to get the ball inside and we did until Loyola took it away the second half.

"We needed to get off to a good start and we were lucky we did. This is a big win on the road."

The Greyhounds shot a mere 32.7 percent from the field, low even for them, and were 6.6 points below their season average.

Freshman Lucious Jordan topped Loyola with 12 points, his season average, and Damien Jenifer, the team's only senior, scored 10.

FAIRFIELD-Spann 4-8 0-2 8, Deng 4-9 4-5 12, Delfico 1-5 0-0 2, Sogadzi 3-9 1-2 7, Gai 8-13 1-1 17, Urgo 0-0 0-0 0, Goode 1-1 0-0 2, Logan 0-2 0-0 0, Garcia 1-1 1-2 3, Thomson 4-9 3-6 11, Walsh 0-0 0-0 0, Feleccia 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 26-57 12-20 64. LOYOLA-Thomas 0-8 5-6 5, Nijaradze 2-2 3-4 7, Jordan 5-10 0-0 12, Jenifer 4-10 1-2 10, Davis 1-2 0-0 3, Chatman 0-9 5-8 5, Allen 4-7 0-0 9, Koch 0-0 0-0 0, Desmond 0-2 0-0 0, Dickey 0-0 0-0 0, Southall 1-1 0-1 2, Chivers 0-1 0-1 0. Totals 17-52 14-22 53.

Halftime-Fairfield 38, Loyola 20. 3-Point goals-Fairfield 0-13 (Spann 0-1, Deng 0-2, Delfico 0-1, Sogadzi 0-5, Gai 0-3, Logan 0-1), Loyola 5-18 (Jordan 2-5, Jenifer 1-3, Davis 1-2, Chatman 0-5, Allen 1-2, Chivers 0-1). Fouled out-Allen. Rebounds-Fairfield 38 (Gai, Deng 9), Loyola 36 (Allen 9). Assists-Fairfield 11 (Sogadzi, Goode 3), Loyola 8 (Jenifer 3). Total fouls-Fairfield 23, Loyola 20. A-272.

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