Loyola-Maryland (13-6) at Fairfield (10-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, January 21, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Webster Bank Arena (9,000) -- Bridgeport, Connecticut. Television: None. Home Record: Loyola 8-2, Fairfield 2-2. Away Record: Loyola 2-4, Fairfield 5-7. Neutral Record: Loyola 3-0, Fairfield 3-0. Conference Record: Loyola 5-2, Fairfield 2-5. Series Record: Fairfield leads, 36-18.
GAME NOTES: A couple of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference programs complete their season series on Monday night, as the Fairfield Stags host the Greyhounds of Loyola-Maryland at Webster Bank Arena.
Since that first meeting of the season a little over a week ago, the Stags have gone on to push their current losing streak to four in a row. The latest setback for Fairfield was an 84-72 decision versus Iona on the road this past Friday night. With the defeat, the Stags are now just 2-5 in conference play.
Heading in the other direction, the Greyhounds have won four of their last five outings, thanks in part to a 72-58 victory against Marist last Thursday night. The team is also closer to the top of the MAAC standings as well with a 5-2 mark.
Ten days ago, these squads clashed at Reitz Arena in Baltimore where the hosts finally came away with a 63-58 victory in overtime, but still the Stags own a 36-18 advantage in the all-time series. Loyola's Erik Etherly led all scorers with 20 points, followed by Dylon Cormier with 19 and seven boards, while Fairfield was paced by Josip Mikulic with 16 points off the bench. Keith Matthews recorded a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 10 boards.
Against Marist last week, the Greyhounds followed the lead set by Cormier who tallied 19 points, shooting 7-of-8 from the floor, which also included 2-of-2 behind the 3-point line in the double-digit win. Etherly accounted for 14 points, Julius Brooks 12 and five boards off the bench in just 16 minutes, while Anthony Winbush dropped in another 10 points in a reserve role for the hosts. The Greyhounds have had a different leading scorer in each of the last three games, but for the most part the squad can always count on Cormier to be a main contributor now that he is averaging 17.4 ppg. Etherly is responsible for another 15.4 ppg and is one of the top rebounders with 6.6 per game, trailing only Winbush who is closing in on seven per contest. Defensively, this group is holding the opposition to just 60.9 ppg as those teams convert a mere 27.3 percent out on the perimeter.
Derek Needham came alive for the Stags in their latest outing, scoring 26 points on 6-of-11 shooting behind the 3-point line, but the team still suffered the road loss at Iona nonetheless. Maurice Barrow and Marcus Gilbert both dropped in 12 points, the latter clearing nine rebounds which was second only to Amadou Sidibe who captured 11 boards and registered six points before picking up his fifth personal foul. Through 19 games, the Stags have only one player scoring in double figures, as Needham drops in 14.1 ppg, but his is shooting just 39.9 percent from the floor and 33.6 percent beyond the arc at the moment. Of the team's 110 conversions on the outside, 46 have been made by Needham. Desmond Wade (6.8 ppg) has come off the bench the majority of the time for Fairfield, but that hasn't stopped him from handing out a team-best 74 assists.
With the team's offensive options limited much of the time, the Stags will not be able to get by if they try to ride Needham too hard.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Loyola-Maryland 68, Fairfield 61
01/21 10:41:51 ET