A very good season of MAAC basketball came to its conclusion earlier this week as the men's teams from Loyola and Canisius suffered quarterfinal-round losses in the CollegeInsider.com (CIT) event.
Both squads had won two games in the event before their respective season-ending losses.
Loyola lost, 70-58, to East Carolina in a game that was tied with 10:49 remaining.
Canisius dropped an 84-83 decision to Evansville as the winners' Colt Evans scored 39 points, including 30 in the second half. Evansville held the lead for much of the second half, and Canisius never had a possession on which it had a chance to win the game in the closing seconds.
The Loyola game was the last for the Greyhounds' program as a member of the MAAC. Loyola will compete in the Patriot League beginning with the upcoming academic year. But, its men's coach Jimmy Patsos continues to be prominently mentioned as a finalist for the Siena position.
His Loyola team's senior class finished their careers as the senior class with the most wins (75) in the program's Division I history. Loyola has won 47 games over the past two seasons (24 last year, 23 this year), and has been to national post-season tournaments (it went to the NCAA's last year) the past two seasons.
The last two years marked the first back-to-back 20-victory seasons for the program since the early 1940's.
Canisius finishes with a 20-14 record, an improvement of 15 victories from a year ago, one of the best turnarounds at the Division I level.
"I told the guys that I was really proud of their effort, not only tonight but all season long," coach Jim Baron said in a release issued by Canisius. "To go from five wins last year to 20 this year, and from one league win to 11 ... that's something special. I've never been part of something like this before ... it was a heck of a run."
Junior guard Billy Baron finished the season with 584 points, the highest single-season total since Ray Hall scored 628 points in the 1984-85 season.
In all, six MAAC men's teams played in national post-season tournaments. Iona went to the NCAA's, Niagara participated in the NIT and the CIT field included Canisius, Loyola, Fairfield and Rider.
On the women's side Marist was part of the NCAA field, while Iona played in the WNIT and Fairfield was in the CBI event's field.