JACKSON, Miss. – The Loyola men’s basketball team mounted a late comeback Thursday night, but could not quite catch up to Belhaven as the Blazers beat the Wolfpack, 76-67.
Ryan Brock led all scorers with 24 points on a 10-for-15 shooting performance. Corey Gray added 20 points, as he went 8-for-10 from the field, including 2-for-2 from three-point range.
The Blazers (14-14, 5-5 SSAC) started out on fire, jumping ahead of the Wolfpack (12-12, 4-5 SSAC) 9-0 over the first 3:18. The ‘Pack answered with a run of its own, cutting the lead to four after back-to-back layups from Brock and Tommy Stangl.
Another first half Wolfpack run gave LU its first lead. With 10:16 to play in the half, a Gray jumper put the ‘Pack up 16-15. From there, the Blazers would pull ahead again until Gray hit a three-pointer just over two minutes before halftime to pull Loyola back within two. Four Belhaven free throws gave BU a six-point lead heading into halftime.
To start the second half, the Blazers again went on a run, scoring the first eight points of the half, highlighted by a Brittion Smith trey and a three-point play converted by Rob Wallace. Forest Yarbrough again gave Belhaven a 14-point lead when he hit a three four minutes into the frame.
Down 61-44 with just over six minutes remaining, the ‘Pack spent the rest of the night chipping away at BU’s lead. Darrinton Moncrieffe slammed home a dunk and made the free throw to complete the three-point play. Brock and Gray hit back-to-back shots, and Brock hit another to narrow the deficit to single-digits.
Wolfpack players hit several shots over the final four minutes, but solid free throw shooting by the Blazers sealed the win for Belhaven.
The ‘Pack returns to action as they host Auburn-Montgomery on Saturday, Feb. 19. That contest is scheduled to tip-off at 4 p.m. in The Den.
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