Defense powers Loyola men past St. Thomas, 73-56

Sat, 01/08/2011

NEW ORLEANS – The Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball team shut down the University of St. Thomas offense while Ryan Brock scored a game-high 26 points as the Wolfpack cruised to a 73-56 victory on Saturday afternoon at The Den.

After seeing St. Thomas (7-9) connect on 16 three-pointers in their first matchup, Loyola (7-6) stepped up the defense, holding the Celts to 36 percent shooting from the field and 6 of 24 from behind the arc. The Wolfpack held UST to just four points in the first five minutes, taking a 14-4 lead and would never look back as they won their second straight contest.

Brock followed up his season-high of 33 points on Wednesday with a stellar 26-point performance to lead the ‘Pack. He paced the offense in the first half, scoring 15 points which included a pair of three-pointers. He finished the evening 10 of 15 from the field.

Cameron Cates added 15 points and Corey Gray scored 14, both finishing 5 of 7 from the field. Loyola shot 50 percent (27 of 54) for the game and hit 6 of 14 from three.

While UST was down early, the Celts clawed back at 16-14 midway through the half. The ‘Pack answered with a 12-2 run, capped off by Brock’s second three with 5:33 left in the period. LU stretched the lead to as much as 17 before heading into the break leading 40-25.

Seven minutes into the second half, UST came within eight points following a three from Caleb Williams. However, Loyola went on a 17-4 run to put the game away. Jamal Silas, who led the LU with 10 rebounds, started the run with a bucket before Cates would give the Maroon and Gold their largest lead of the day, 63-42, on a basket and-one.

Loyola kept the clamps on the rest of the way, avenging their loss to the Celts before the holiday break. The win puts Loyola back over .500 before conference play.

Travis Lampley led UST with 12 points and Anthony Medina finished with 10 and a game-high four steals. The Celts were out rebounded 34-41.

Loyola returns to action on Jan. 13 when they head to Mobile, Ala. for their SSAC opener against Spring Hill. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

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