SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Leading wire to wire, sixth-seeded Manhattan held off a furious Loyola charge and defeated the Greyhounds 55-52 to advance to the semifinals of the MAAC tournament in a game that started on Saturday night and ended on Sunday morning.
The Jaspers (13-17) moved on to face No. 7 Fairfield, which upset No. 2 Rider before the third-seeded Greyhounds, the defending tournament champions, also went down. No. 1 Niagara and No. 4 Iona will play in the other semifinal.
The Greyhounds were down by 14 points in the second half and by 12 when coach Jimmy Patsos engaged in the first of two shouting matches with the Greyhounds' Erik Etherly on the floor in front of the Loyola bench over defensive positioning. Whatever the coach's motive, it worked; his team started to charge.
They had several chances to tie or win, right up to Robert Olson's off-balance 3-pointer that came close at the buzzer.
The loss drops Loyola to 21-11 but doesn't necessarily end the Greyhounds' season as they will await a call from one of the postseason tournaments.
Rhamel Brown had 12 points and 12 rebounds and a key block late for the Jaspers, who got nine points and eight rebounds from Emmy Andujar.
Etherly and Dylon Cormier, both first-team all-MAAC, struggled offensively. Cormier did finish with 14 points and seven rebounds, but Etherly was 1-for-10 from the floor, failing to convert one of the chances at the end.
Manhattan survived despite going 15-for-27 from the foul line. But RaShawn Stores did hit a pair of free throws with 3.2 seconds left to ice the game.
Loyola made only two of its first 10 shots and was down by 13, 18-5, 7:29 into the game. The Manhattan run included Donovan Kates making two free throws when Loyola coach Patsos, as upset with his team as the officials, got a technical foul.
But trailing by 13, the Greyhounds went on a 9-2 run. But the Jaspers quickly regained control, and when Shane Richard hit his third 3-pointer of the first half, Manhattan was up 31-20 with 3:30 left.
Things were going so well for the Jaspers that Andujar, who had nine points and five rebounds in the half, lost control of the ball on a drive and it popped up into the air and went through the basket to make the lead 11. But Cormier hit a four-point play and also had two free throws in an 8-2 spurt that left Manhattan up by four at the break.
NOTES: A pre-game skirmish that took place prior to the teams playing in the regular-season finale last Sunday left three players suspended for Saturday night's game. With the coaches and officials not around, a Loyola player fired a ball at the head of Manhattan's Mohamed Koita, hitting him. It was the latest problem between these teams and Koita and Loyola's Julius Brooks and Jordan Latham were nailed with one-game suspensions. "I don't know how it keeps happening, but the same thing happened last year down there," Manhattan's Rhamel Brown told the New York Daily News. "I don't know why it keeps happening. That's what happens when two physical teams play each other. It gets physical and some people get upset I guess. They are very similar to us and I guess that's why we tend to clash." ... Brown was named MAAC defensive player of the year and made second team all-conference. ... Loyola beat Manhattan 51-41 in the Bronx on Jan. 25 and 63-61 last Sunday. ... In the first game of the night's doubleheader, Rider had 21 turnovers and no assists, shot 29.5 percent from the floor, didn't hit a 3-pointer and still had a chance to win the game.