The Fairfield University men’s basketball program has had a rocky start to their 2019-20 season, going 1-3 overall. They took on Loyola University Maryland (2-3) on Sunday, Nov. 17 in Baltimore, MD where they were defeated 84-74 after forcing the game into overtime. The outcome bore similarities to the game before against Holy Cross where they were defeated 68-63 after regulation time ran out.
The box scores of the first and second halves were identical, as in the first 20 minutes of play each team wracked up 30 points, and in the second they matched each other’s total at 38 a piece. The decision came down to a last-ditch five minute overtime period where Loyola upended Fairfield 16-7 and claimed the win at home. 11 of Loyola’s 16 points came from the free throw line.
The majority of the first half was controlled by Fairfield, as they held a lead until they were up 18-12 when the Greyhounds went on an 8-0 run, leaving the Stags in the dust 20-18.
Graduate student Vincent Eze took credit for 15 points, more than doubling his career-high of seven points. Nine of those were scored in the first 20 minutes, which set the pace for the Stags. In the final six minutes of the first half,
Junior captain Jesus Cruz and Landon Taliaferro ‘20 both put on commendable performances leading the team in points scored as each contributed 17 to the final score. Taliaferro landed a three-point field goal which tied the game 68-68 with 41 seconds remaining. In addition, captain Taj Benning ‘21 scored 14 points.
The Stags are slated to compete at the ESPN Orlando Invitational in Orlando, FL beginning on Thursday, Nov. 28. The team will return home to the George Bisacca Court at Alumni Hall on Sunday, Dec. 8 to take on The College of William and Mary (4-1).