NEW ORLEANS, La. – Corey Gray led the Wolfpack with 31 points and eight rebounds as the Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball team beat William Carey University, 72-54, Thursday night in The Den.
The win clinches a playoff spot for the Wolfpack, and puts LU one game out of first place in the SSAC West division standings.
Seniors Ryan Brock, Richard Kohnke and Darrinton Moncrieffe each had impressive nights in their home finale. Brock scored 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting, Kohnke grabbed a career-high seven steals, and Moncrieffe finished with six blocks for the Wolfpack.
Marcus Spann and Kevin Branch each had 12 points to lead the way for the Crusaders.
WCU (17-11, 7-4 SSAC) started out the game on a 10-0 run. The Crusaders held a lead for most of the first half. After the initial spurt, the Wolfpack defense clamped down on WCU, led by four Moncrieffe blocks in less than two minutes.
Down 24-14, the Wolfpack (14-12, 6-5 SSAC) answered with its own 10-0 run to tie the game up for the first time. Down one with two seconds on the clock, Gray pulled up for a three, which Moncrieffe rebounded and hit a quick put-back jumper to tie the game heading into halftime.
Gray paced the Wolfpack coming out of the break, hitting a long three on LU’s first field goal attempt of the of the half. After a stretch of back-and-forth scoring from both teams, Brock scored back-to-back layups to give Loyola a four-point lead.
Up 49-45 with 8:34 to play, the ’Pack went on a 9-0 lead that kept Loyola ahead for good. Gray scored six of the nine points during that stretch.
The Wolfpack drained eight free throws over the last two minutes to seal the victory. Gray went 7-for-8 from the line in the closing minutes and 9-for-12 overall in the game.
The win over WCU marks the last home game of the season for the ’Pack. The team closes out its regular season against the University of Mobile on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m.
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