69-51 loss to Fairfield is Loyola's 12th in row

Poor-shooting 'Hounds last seed in MAAC tourney

College Basketball

March 02, 2003|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

It was more of the same for the beleaguered Loyola College men last night, but at least they were more respectable in defeat.

On the heels of their most lopsided loss of the season (to Iona), the Greyhounds challenged against Fairfield, but, in the end, were undone by inferior shooting, a thinner bench and the Stags' size advantage.

Fairfield pulled away in the final 12 minutes to capture the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game, 69-51, at Reitz Arena and secure no worse than a second seed in this week's MAAC tournament.

"It's hard when you don't experience success. That affects the team's emotional state," Loyola coach Scott Hicks said after a 12th straight setback. "It's hard to play when you don't have confidence because you've been knocked down so many times."

Fairfield (17-10, 13-5 league) used its bulk and depth to wear down Loyola, which eclipsed 50 points for the first time since Feb. 16 at Niagara. Ten players consumed at least 16 minutes for the Stags, all of whom scored.

In the process, Fairfield's defense smothered the Greyhounds' long-range shooters (4-for-17 from beyond the arc).

"We've struggled with them in the past and were worried about that," said Stags coach Tim O'Toole. "We had to defend the three; we couldn't let those guys get hot."

Loyola (4-23, 1-17) is 9-46 the past two seasons and will occupy the bottom seed in the tournament. Its first-round opponent will be winner of today's Iona-Niagara game.

Eight minutes into the game, the Greyhounds had a 14-11 lead before Fairfield unleashed a 10-0 run to take control and never trail again.

A three-pointer by Lindbergh Chatman kept Loyola within 44-37 six minutes in the second half before the Stags steadily increased the margin to as many as 23 points.

Hicks was content that his team - which has only one player left at 6 feet 8 or taller to Fairfield's four - competed well.

"The game was closer than the score shows," he said. "We blew some opportunities, especially one-and-ones at the line in the second half. And our traditional scorers have to be more consistent. But it was a better effort and we certainly have nothing to lose at the tournament."

FAIRFIELD-Thomson 4-6 5-6 13, Garcia 4-8 2-2 10, Delfico 4-9 1-2 9, Deng Ajou 4-8 0-0 8, Todd 4-7 0-0 8, Bell 3-5 1-3 8, Gai 2-6 1-2 9, Goode 1-2 2-2 4, Maxwell 1-4 0-2 2, Sogadzi 1-4 0-0 2, Wilson 0-2 0-0 0, Brown 0-2 0-0 0, Feleccia 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-64 12-19 69. LOYOLA-Thomas 3-3 4-6 12, Chatman 3-7 1-5 8, Chivers 2-5 3-4 7, Allen 2-6 2-2 6, Southall 2-7 0-0 4, Hinds 2-6 0-0 4, Bossman 1-9 1-2 4, Jordan 1-8 2-2 4, Dickey 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 16-51 4-17 51. Halftime-Fairfield, 34-27. 3-point goals-Fairfield 1-12 (Garcia 0-1, Delfico 0-2, Deng 0-2, Todd 0-1, Bell 1-2, Gai 0-2, Sogadzi 0-2), Loyola 4-17 ( Thomas 2-2, Bossman 1-6, Jordan 0-3, Allen 0-2, Chatman 0-1, Chivers 0-1, Southall 0-1.) Fouled out- None. Rebounds-Fairfield 47 (Gai, Deng 8), Loyola 51(Thomas 12). Assists-Fairfield 10 (Thomas 8), Loyola 6(Allen). Total fouls-Fairfield 18, Loyola 17. A-272.

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