With 2:57 remaining in the game, the Stags six game winning streak was in serious jeopardy. Fairfield (10-15, 8-5 MAAC) trailed 62-52 to Loyola (MD) (13-10, 9-4 MAAC), the first place team in the MAAC. Then sophomore point guard Jonathan Han took over, starting a game winning run with a three pointer, leading to a 65-62 Stags victory.

Han led the Stags on a 13-0 run to close out the game, scoring 10 of those points himself to finish with a team-high 19 points. But it was a play on the defensive end that was the biggest of the game.

With 38 seconds left in the game, Han took a charge from Brett Harvey and then knocked down the game winning three pointer on the other end.

As the Stags headed onto the court for the playing of the Fairfield Alma Mater, Head Coach Ed Cooley yelled to the students in front of him “THIS IS OUR HOUSE!”

“We were down by 14 and our kids didn’t quit,” said Head Coach Ed Cooley. “It’s not what the coach draws up with every time, it’s how your kids execute. Once we got into a little rhythm and changed the tempo, we felt we had a little more swagger.”

“Herbie made a great play, drawing two players away and he found me on the wing,” Han said when asked about the final three point shot. “I had a lot of confidence after my first three late in the second half. I had enough confidence to take the shot and thank God it went in.”

The win increased the Stags winning streak to seven games, the most the team has won since 1985-86, when they also won seven straight.

The Stags wanted to get off to a good start and while they headed into the half with a slim 31-30 lead, they still had a lot of room for improvement. Fairfield shot just 10-for-30 from the floor and an even worse 3-for-12 from beyond the three point line.

Senior guard Michael Van Schaick got off to a slow start, but heated up towards the end of the half, when he knocked down a three pointer with 2:56 left in the half for his seventh point of the half.

He would go into the locker room with the team scoring lead, nine points and finish with 12 points.

On the defensive end Fairfield was more successful. The Stags held Gerald Brown, the eighth best scorer in the nation, who averages 22.5 points per game to only five points on 2-for-9 shooting.

Brown would finish with just 13 points. As a team Loyola shot 39.3 percent on the game, better than Fairfield’s 36.8 percent.

“The played a box and one, it was the first time we saw it,” said Cooley, “I thought it staggers us a little bit, in the first half, we still had a one point lead. We made a few adjustments at the half.”

The adjustments didn’t help the Stags get off to a good start in the second half, as they failed to score for the first six minutes. Loyola jumped out to a 39-31 lead, which the Stags cut to 39-33 with 14 minutes left in the game.

The Greyhounds continued to extend their lead and with 10:13 remaining they were up by a commanding 14 points, 54-40. As Cooley called a timeout in frustration, Loyola Head Coach Jimmy Patsos pumped his fists in celebration to the small group of fans behind their bench.

The momentum shifted to the Stags side when Loyola’s Omari Isreal was called for a technical foul, leading to four points for Fairfield.

The Stags had two chances to cut the lead to six, but failed both times and when Loyola pulled the lead back to ten with three minutes to go, the game seemed over once again.

But then the Fairfield defense stepped up, forcing four straight turnovers that allowed the Stags to get back into the game and eventually win.

The Stags outrebounded Loyola 37-32, as Anthony Johnson `10 finished with 10 rebounds to go along with 12 points and Marty O’Sullivan `07 pulled down nine boards.

“I saw a Fairfield team really pick up their energy. When they are looking at me in the huddle and salivating, and saying yeah coach, I start looking at them and saying yeah guys,” said Cooley, “That’s all it really was, the energy, the momentum shifted and we were very fortunate.”

“Now we look forward to Marist [Thursday night]. Go home and watch a ton of tape and get ready,” added Cooley. “That’s what you do, you scout, you coach, you play, kiss your wife and tell your kids you love them.”

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