The Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds earned an automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Tournament, defeating the Fairfield Stags 48-44 during Monday night's MAAC Tournament Championship Game.
The Greyhounds were down 30-26 at halftime, but scored nine straight points out of the locker room to take the lead for good over the Stags. Fairfield made just five field goals after halftime, scoring 14 points and finishing with a 28.8 shooting percentage. The Greyhounds shot just 33.3 percent themselves, but played smothering defense to usher on the victory.
Rakim Sanders and Ryan Olander both missed potential game-tying 3-pointers late in the game, and combined went 1-for-10 from beyond the arc. Maurice Barrow was dominant on the boards, hauling in 13 rebounds. He went just 5-for-16 shooting from the field, however, scoring 10 points.
Loyola will be making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1994, snapping an 18-year drought. Erik Etherly scored 10 points to lead the way, in addition to his seven rebounds and three blocks. The Greyhounds went much deeper down their bench than the Stags. Justin Drummond scored eight points in 20 minutes on the court.
For more coverage on the 2012 MAAC Tournament tournament, stay tuned to our storystream.