Saturday, March 3, 2007

Final from the Harbor: Loyola 75, Fairfield 72

  • From us here at the Game Log, we'll see you in '07!
  • Tonight's Final: Loyola 75, Fairfield 72.
  • Brown grabs the board and sends it down to the other end of the floor in happiness.
  • Van Schaick misses a desperation three.
  • Brown misses the first shot, but hits the second to put the game away.
  • Mamadou fouls Brown immediately off of the in-bound.
  • Loyola doesn't like the look on the floor and calls a timeout.
  • 75-72 Loyola with :08.8 to go and in-bound on the way.
  • Herbie Allen hits a three in the corner off of a nicely designed play, but it's likely too little, too late.
  • Alujevic, clutch from the line in the second half, hits both shots. Loyola leads, 75-69.
  • After a long pass play from the opposite baseline, Anthony Johnson bobbles a pass and then misses the shot. Alujevic grabs the board and goes to the line.
- Keith Connors

73-69 Hounds; :28.6 in the 2nd

  • He'll ice the game if he hits this shot. And he does. Loyola leads by four. 73-69 Hounds.
  • A big shot, Alujevic hits the first.
  • Alujevic goes to the line with :28.6 to go.
  • After Fairfield nearly looses the ball, Han hits Van Schiack with a pass. Shake pump fakes, drops steps, and misses a three. Greyhounds control the board and foul right away.
  • The situation: Stags ball down two, 71-69, coming off of a planned timeout. The clock is at :38.9, the shot clock at 31. Let's see what happens. If I'm in Patsos head right now, I'm looking for Van Schaick, but remembering when Mamadou hit a wide-open three in the earlier contest to send the game to overtime. Here we go.
- Keith Connors

71-69 Hounds; :38.9 in the 2nd

  • Cooley takes a timeout to draw something up.
  • Peanut hits the first, misses the second, but Van Schaick grabs the board off of the miss and the Stags control the ball.
  • With the shot clock winding down, Anthony Johnson goes up and is fouled on the play. He'll head to the line with :43.3 to go.
  • Stags take a shot, which looked more like a pass, but grab the board. The shot clock does not reset.
  • Big steal from Mamadou as Fairfield was implementing a half-court trap.
- Keith Connors

71-68 Hounds; 1:38 in the 2nd

  • With their center Israel trapped, Loyola wisely burns a timeout.
  • Han was trying to look for Shake on a cut play, but threw the ball out of bounds. Now the Stags have to play good defense. Hounds ball.
  • Stags ball with 2:15 to go, down 71-68
- Keith Connors

71-68 Hounds; 2:15 in the 2nd

  • Cooley grabs the ref and calls a timeout with possession.
  • Han misses the foul shot, but Shake grabs the board.
  • Han drives, hits the shot, and is fouled! A big play for the Stags to keep this game tight. 71-68 Hounds.
  • Brown hits a three over Marty from the corner. A huge shot for the forward. 71-66 Hounds.
  • O'Sullivan misses a turnaround jumper and the Hounds grab the board. Stags ball.
  • Brown kicks it out for Alujevic, who drains a three. Loyola has its first lead all night at 3:24 to go. 68-66 Hounds.
  • Some Loyola fan spilt beer on my shirt/jacket during warm-ups. Therefore, I am boycotting the state of Maryland for the next few months. Sorry, Simmons.
- Keith Connors

66-65 Stags; 3:51 in the 2nd

  • Loyola ball.
  • Israel takes a charge from Nero - which was called awfully low to the ground. Patsos seizes the moment of the momentum and calls a timeout.
- Keith Connors

66-65 Stags; 4:09 in the 2nd

  • Cooley burns a timeout to get his team under control. 66-65 Stags with 4:09 to go.
  • Brown misses a runner, but Omari Israel tips in the miss to make it a one-point game. This is getting interesting.
  • O'Sullivan drives, but a nice read by Israel leads to a charge call. Cooley and the crowd were not amused. Hounds ball.
  • Loyola switches to a full court press.
  • Brown (who has four fouls, by the way) goes to the line, after he was fouled on an athletic drive to the hoop. He converts both from the charity stripe. 66-63 Stags.
  • Van Schaick hits a big three after saving an errant pass from Herbie Allen from going out of bounds. He's on fire! "Second Half Shake", as Tom and I call him. 66-61 Stags.
  • Alujevic's shot gets swatted by Peanut, but Omari Israel puts in the easy buckets. 63-61 Stags.
  • Van Schaick finds Anthony Johnson underneath, who is fouled going up with the ball, the Greyhounds' eighth team foul. Johnson misses the first, but knocks down the second.
  • Allen misses a jumper, but the Stags grab the offensive board.
  • Gerald Brown finally hits a three. He has been much maligned from behind the arc for the majority of this game. 62-59 Stags.
  • O'Sullivan air balls a three. On the other end, Allen gets called for a hold on the floor. Greyhound Ball.
  • Israel picks up the ball and walks. Yet another travel for the Greyhounds. Stags ball.
  • Shake's on the line for his "and one" shot. He nails it. 62-56 Stags.
- Keith Connors

61-56 Stags; 7:57 in the 2nd

  • Shake drives on a fast break, goes all the way, and gets the bucket with the foul on a block. 61-56 Stags with a shot to come.
  • Han turns the ball over, but the Stags recover and prevent a fast break. Loyola ball.
  • Sullivan's shot from the corner off of a nice look grazes the backboard, but finds a way in. 59-56 Stags.
  • Fofana tries to take a charge and fails miserably. Van Schaick goes to the line and hits both. 59-53 Stags.
  • Brown steps out of bounds after being trapped by Anthony Johnson and Herbie Allen. Stags ball.
  • Allen turns the ball over as Loyola surprises with a full-court press. Sullivan misses a three, but the Hounds maintain possession. The same thing happens again.
  • Brown converts one-of-two from the free throw line. 57-53 Stags.
  • Harvey kicks to Brown, who drives and is fouled in the lane. He goes to the line.
  • J.J. Jumper's act is ridiculous (including his dance to "Chicken Noodle Soup"). Yet I can't possibly look away.
- Keith Connors

57-52 Stags; 11:13 in the 2nd

  • Media Timeout... We'll be right back!
  • Nero gets an open look and hits a three, another rarity for the freshman forward. 57-52 Stags.
  • Sullivan drains a three with Van Schaick in his face. A great job by a pure shooter. The Hounds inch closer. 54-52 Stags.
  • Han forces a pass in between two defenders - and the ball bounces out of bounds. Hounds ball.
  • Harvey drives and is fouled on the shot. He'll head to the line. He hits both shots. 54-49 Stags.
  • Van Schaick gets a shot in the corner and nails it! Nice shot by Shake. 54-47 Stags.
  • A rebound for Loyola develops into a fast break, which ends in a James lay-up. 51-47 Stags.
  • Alujevic's no look pass to James goes far and missed left - giving the Stags the ball back.
  • Han took the ball the other way on a fast break, but was fouled and missed the shot. Han goes to the line and hits 'em both. 51-45 Stags.
  • Brown is hit hard on the other end and is slow getting up. Looked like a shot to the man hood region.
  • Van Schaick pump fakes from the top, drives, and hits an awkward lay-in. Nice job by Mike.
  • After an offensive rebound, Gerald Brown travels at the top of the arc. Stags ball.
  • Nero gets the ball in the post, puts a move on, and is fouled by Michael Tuck. Nero misses both shots (a rarity).
  • Patsos Crazy Meter: 5 out of 10, putting him on par with Bobby Knight, John McEnroe, and Jack Nicholson from "The Shining".
- Keith Connors

47-45 Stags; 15:54 in the 2nd

  • Media T.O. and a deep breath - as this crowd is getting rowdy.
  • Israel is called for a hold after grabbing Van Schaick, who was trying to drive the lane.
  • Israel goes up after his own missed and is "fouled" by Devin Johnson. Johnson thought he hit all ball. Israel hits both shots to pull the Greyhounds within two. 47-45 Stags.
  • Anthony Johnson is called for a hold on Israel on the floor. Hounds ball.
  • Johnson hits one-of-one from the line. 47-44 Stags.
  • Things are getting HEATED: Anthony Johnson was on a break away and was pushed from behind by Sullivan - who was not called for an intentional. Han took offense and got in Sullivan's face, almost resulting in a skirmish. Hopefully, they weren't watching the lacrosse game. Cooley pumps his fist at the crowd after huddling with Patsos.
  • Devin Johnson grabs a rebound from a Peanut Johnson miss and puts it in. Seconds later, James gets a lay-up. 46-43 Stags.
  • Sullivan hits a three on a kick-out pass; he was wide open. 44-41 Stags.
  • Nero makes a nice post move and puts in off of a turnaround jumper. 44-38 Stags.
  • Patsos celebrates like the Greyhounds just won the World Series and gets a technical foul (much to the delight of the Fairfield faithful). Shake hits them both and the Stags go up four. 42-38 Stags.
  • Alujevic gets a good look from James and lays it in. 40-38.
  • It smells like hot chocolate.
  • Shake hits a shot just a step in front of the arc. He looks like he's getting hot. 40-36 Stags.
  • Alujevic lays it in off of a feed from Sullivan, who was driving the lane. A similar ply to that of FU the last run. 38-36 Stags.
  • Greg Nero puts it in from the paint. 38-34 FU.
  • Moments later, Van Schaick gets a kick out pass from Peanut and drains the three, helping the Stags regain the lead. 36-34 Stags
  • Shake in bounds to Han and we are underway.
  • Stat of the Half: Gerald Brown leads Loyola with 10 points, but shot 4-of-12 from the field and was scoreless on four attempts from beyond the arc.
- Keith Connors

Halftime at the Harbor: 34-33 Loyola

  • At the Half: Loyola 34, Fairfield 33
  • After Han takes it the length of the court, Anthony Johnson misses a jumper and Nero the put back to end the half.
  • Fairfield takes a timeout to set up a last minute play.
  • Loyola was unfazed, apparently, as big man Omari Israel hits a three in the corner at the shot clock buzzer, his first three-point attempt of the season. Big swing in momentum. 34-33 Greyhounds
  • Brown runs the clock down and drives - but is greeted by Anthony Johnson's hand a sick block. Cooley looked like a kid on Christmas morning, as the ball came to him off the block. Loyola ball.
  • A sick foul shooter, Nero hits them both. 33-31 FU.
  • Van Schiack gives down low for Nero, who is fouled as he missed the shot. He'll go to the line with :44.7 to go in the first half.
  • Brett Harvey drives and hits a leaner on a bank shot. A nice job by Harvey getting down the floor quick. 31-31.
  • Allen misses a three in the corner and Loyoal plls down the board.
  • Brown misses a three on a "pick-and-pop" play, but had a great look. I was scared when he shot it. Stags all.
  • Brown's botched pass turns into a jump-ball, but the possession stays for Loyola.
  • Dapper Cooley Watch: an Americana/FU red and white striped tie with a light blue shirt. Impressive way to dress nicely for his MAAC tournament debut. And, as always, classy...
- Keith Connors

31-29 Stags; 2:06 in the 1st

  • "Media T.O., baby" - Dick Vitale
  • Nero gets called for a hold on the floor. Loyola ball.
  • Sullivan answers with a three in the corner of his own. He's starting to catch fire. 31-29 Stags.
  • Han drives and kicks it out to Herbie Allen in the corner, who drains the three. Great look and an even better shot (a nice new shape-up too). 31-26 Stags.
  • Israel delivers a beautiful pass to Alujevic, who was cutting on the baseline the opposite way of him. Nice job of ball movement from the Hounds. 28-26 Stags.
  • Van Schaick gets a nice look from Johnson in the post on a cut and lays it in. 28-24 Stags.
  • Marquise Sullivan hits a shot just inside the three-point line, pulling Loyola closer. 26-24 Stags.
  • Brown's three with the shot clock winding down from the middle of the arc is short, but the ball goes off of Nero and out of bounds. Loyola will keep it.
  • Brown pass gets knocked out of bounds - we'll keep it for Loyola.
  • Anthony Johnson hits a jumper from the top of the key - an unusual sight. 26-22 Stags.
  • Israel turns it over on a pass attempt for Brown with the shot clock winding down. Stags ball.
  • Han's lay-up comes up just short, but Anthony Johnson desperately tips it in with one hand. A nice job under the boards from Johnson. 24-22 Stags.
  • James' pass for Israel gets picked. Stags take over.
  • Van Schaick misses a three on a kick-out from Anthony Johnson. Hounds ball.
  • Alujevic hits a wide open three on a kick-out from James. The 'Hounds tie it up. 22-22.
  • Han drives and kicks it to Nero in the paint, who lays it in. Nero is very active thus far in the offense - a great sign for the Stags. 22-19 Stags.
- Keith Connors

20-19 Stags; 7:58 in the 1st

  • Media timeout with Stags ball.
  • Brown misses the free throw, which leads to a Shake fast break in which he misses the lay-up. Eventualy it goes to Loyola, who misses a shot in the paint.
  • Gerald Brown takes it all the way and is fouled by Mamadou Diakate from behind - giving him an and one. Just like that here comes Loyola. 20-19 Stags.
  • Harvey drains a three on a kick out from James. The Greyhounds are finally building some steam. 20-17 Stags.
  • Fufana finally put home a lay-up. 20-14 Stags.
  • Rarely used forward Roi Buchbinder messed up another alley-oop. Ouch. Cooley tosses a Gatorade in disgust. It was a rough play - for the record. Not an easy play at all.
  • J.J. Jumper is in the house! And he's got some free goodies for the fans in the stands. Gotta love tacky promos. (Note the sarcasm - it's rich)
- Keith Connors

20-12 Stags; 10:57 in the 1st

  • Media timeout as Shake goes after a ball in the stands. What a great effort.
  • The Stags push the ball and put in, Mamadou on the finish. 20-12 Stags.
  • Anthony Johnson gets a great look in the paint from Han, who was driving the lane, and hits the lay-up. Stags 1-12.
  • Israel gets a lay-in after a turnover from Van Schaick on the floor. 16-12 Stags.
  • Nero gets a great dish from Van Schaick and banks it home. 16-10 Stags.
  • Devin Johnson gets called for a hold on the floor. Loyola maintains possession, and Gerald Brown hooks it in moments later. 14-10 Stags.
  • Anthony Johnson misses an open lay-in. Greyhound ball.
  • On the other end, Israel gets called for a hold on Anthony Johnson. Fairfield ball.
  • Israel hits both from the charity stripe. 14-8 Stags
  • Harvey misses a floater - which results in a Loyola offensive rebound. Israel drives it and gets to the line on a block foul from Marty, a questionable call at best.
- Keith Connors

14-6 Stags; 14:33 in the 1st

  • Brown gets trapped in the corner on offense and is forced to burn a timeout. Cooley was so excited he ran over and grabbed Anthony Johnson by the jersey. Ed is pumped!
  • After the Stags break the press, a wide open Anthony Johnson slams down his second dunk of the night. What a job by the Fairfield offense to break it. 14-6 Stags.
  • Foul on the floor on Fairfield as the Stags switched to a 2-3 zone. Brown will shoot two - misses the first, but makes the second to make it a six-point game. 12-6 Stags.
  • Devin Johnson makes a nice cut and puts it in. 12-5 Stags.
  • Fufana wiffs a dunk - hey, at least we're not the only ones that do that.
  • Pre-game meal: a catered dinner that Keith missed out on. I'm not a happy camper. At least this Grehound mascot knows how to bust a move.
- Keith Connors

10-5 Stags; 15:53 in the 1st

  • Media timeout.
  • Shake grabs a rebound off of a Hasaan Fofana miss and takes it all the way for a nice lay-in. 10-5 Stags.
  • Shake misses a three. Loyola ball.
  • Both teams are going with a full court trap.
  • Van Schaick gets striped on a pass - leading to a fast break for Loyola that ends in a Gerald Brown lay-up - and a foul. Big play for Loyola. Brown adds the free throw. 8-5 Stags.
  • Loyola gets called on a hold on the floor as Devin Johnson tried to drive it to the lane. The Stags will retain possession.
  • Sullivan misses a three off of a nice look. Stags ball.
  • After a few offensive rebound and bad passes - Nero gets a shot off and gets fouled in the process. Nero hits 'em both - 8-2 Stags.
  • Brown misses a three back rim on an open look early in the shot clock. Stags ball.
  • Devin Johnson gets a little give-and-go from Peanut and lays it in - and the foul. Johnson misses the free throw, though. 6-2 Stags.
  • Alujevic wiffs on a nice pass from Israel - a Loyola turnover.
  • Van Schaick throws a alley-oop pass to Anthony Johnson, who reaches behind and slams it in, causing a huge ovation from the crowd. 4-2 Stags.
  • Gerald Brown banks it in off of a post shot. 2-2 Tie.
  • Han drives all the way off a nice pump fake. 2-0 Stags.
  • Tip-off baby: Israel vs. Peanut Johnson. W for Anthony. Sign of things to come?
  • Fairfield Section: a definite A. They're here and they're loud. It's great to see - this should be exciting. With Allan Parsons blasting in the background and the fans going nuts, this is what college basketball is all about.
  • The winner of tonight's Stags/Greyhounds game will take on Niagra, who took care of Rider in convincing fashion just prior to tip-off, 77-52.
- Keith Connors

Pre-game Notes: FU/Loyola MAAC Quarterfinals

Some things to think about before the game:

  • Senior guard Michael Van Schaick is playing unreal of late - finishing with at leaast 20 points in four of the team's final six games, including a heroic 25 point effort against St. Peter's six days ago to salvage a season finale victory. If the Stags are going anywhere in this tourney, it's gotta come from Van Schaick.
  • The Stags sport a paltry 11-14 in MAAC opening round games. Luckily for them, they have one six straight games in the quarterfinals following a first round bye.
  • The Stags' big men are a little bit beat up to say the least - Marty O'Sullivan's ankle injury is slowly healing, but it's doubtful he is at 100%. In addition to having his elbow wrapped up, Greg Nero's hip has still gotta be hurting. As if that's not enough, Anthony Johnson is recovering from a bout with the flu. Something to keep any eye on.
  • Gerald Brown, the small forward for Loyola, is one of the best players in this conference. Despite two off nights against the Stags this year (13 and 12, respectively), sits at sixth place scoring among mid-major teams. He is averaging 22 points per game and 5 rebound. It's likely the Stags will match up Devin Johnson with him. Definitely a match-up to watch.
  • In Fairfield history, a quarterfinals win has led to a conference championship five out of eight times. Tom adds: "1987, 1997, 2007?" Who says we can't dream?
Stay tuned for some gloggin'!

- Keith Connors

Friday, March 2, 2007

A Preview of the Fairfield vs. Loyola Game

This Saturday in the MAAC Tournament Quarterfinals, Fairfield will look to knock Loyola out of playoff contention.

While the Stags lost three of their last five conference games, they swept the Greyhounds in early February.

The first win came at home in dramatic fashion, when Fairfield rebounded from a double-digit second quarter deficit.

The second win came with an exclamation point, as the Stags led by almost 20 at one point, ultimately winning by 8.

The Stags must continue to just play their game. That means playing with intensity, both offensively and defensively.

Expect another dogfight, as each team knows it’s “one and done” at this point in the playoff race.

-Frank Romano