Fairfield sharp in 78-53 victory over Loyola

Greyhounds' Hicks says: `Defense was nonexistent'

February 26, 2004|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Fairfield put on a shooting show Loyola would have rather not seen last night, making its first eight shots and jumping out to a big early lead en route to a 78-53 victory over the Greyhounds in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game at Reitz Arena.

By the time Fairfield's Kudjo Sogadzi missed a jumper with 13:25 left in the first half, the Stags had already taken an 18-6 lead. Fairfield eventually hit 12 of its first 14 shots and shot 66 percent in the first half for a 42-26 lead at the break, sending the Greyhounds on the way to their seventh straight loss.

Center Rob Thomson led Fairfield (19-9, 12-5) with a game-high 21 points. Loyola (1-25, 1-16) wasn't able to slow the 6-foot-11 Thomson, who went 9-for-12 from the field despite playing only 25 minutes and sitting out a good part of the second half after the Stags pulled away.

"Our defense was nonexistent tonight," Loyola coach Scott Hicks said. "It was very, very poor. This was our poorest game of the season."

The Stags removed any doubt by scoring the first 12 points after the break and continuing to make shots from a variety of locations. Sogadzi and DeWitt Maxwell both finished with 11 points while point guard Tyquawn Goode ran the Fairfield offense smoothly throughout. Goode had seven points, five assists and three steals in just 29 minutes.

Fairfield finished by shooting 62 percent from the field (33-for-53), and the fast start was just what coach Tim O'Toole wanted.

"We were fortunate to start 12-for-14," said O'Toole, who roomed with Hicks several years ago when both were assistant coaches at Syracuse. "I knew we had to come out here and be ready, and we were. We've been playing pretty well."

Loyola had problems on offense throughout the game --except for Michael Tuck. The 6-foot-7 freshman forward came off the bench to make eight of nine from the field and finish with a career-high 19 points. He scored 11 in the first half to help keep the Greyhounds within shouting distance.

FAIRFIELD-Goode 3-5 0-0 7, Sogadzi 5-8 0-0 11, Thomson 9-12 3-3 21, Maxwell 5-6 1-2 11, Bell 3-3 1-2 9, Bentley 0-1 0-0 0, Van Schaick 2-2 2-2 7, Carter 1-5 0-0 2, Feleccia 4-7 0-1 8, O'Sullivan 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 33-53 7-10 78. LOYOLA-Chatman 1-5 1-2 3, Chivers 1-2 2-2 4, Corrigan 0-3 1-4 1, Bell 3-8 4-7 12, James 1-4 0-0 2, Fox 0-1 0-0 0, Allen 1-2 0-0 3, Hinds 2-4 1-1 5, Nijaradze 2-3 0-2 4, Macdonnell 0-0 0-0 0, Tuck 8-9 1-2 19. Totals 19-41 10-20 53. Half: Fairfield, 42-26. 3-point goals: F 5-12 (Bell 2-2, Van Schaick 1-1, Sogadzi 1-2, Goode 1-3, Bentley 0-1, Feleccia 0-1, O'Sullivan 0-2); L 5-16 (Tuck 2-2, Bell 2-4, Allen 1-1, Fox 0-1, Nijaradze 0-1, Corrigan 0-2, James 0-2, Chatman 0-3). Rebounds: F 25 (Thomson 7); L 25 (Allen, Bell 4). Assists: F 12 (Goode 5); L 15 (James 5). Total fouls: F 19, L 14. A: 480.

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