HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Junior guard Corey Gray scored 19 points and shot 4-for-9 from three-point range, and senior forward Richard Kohnke notched a double-double, but the William Carey Crusaders came from behind late to take down the Wolfpack, 60-53.
The Crusaders (10-10, 2-3 SSAC) took control early, shooting out to a 14-4 lead with 9:13 to play in the first half. Loyola (9-9, 2-2 SSAC) responded with an 8-0 run, highlighted by a pair of Kohnke baskets. The score then remained close all the way until halftime, as WCU ended the half with a 23-22 lead.
Loyola came out in the second half on fire, taking a five-point lead just 2:33 into the second frame off of a Kohnke three-pointer. Gray and freshman Robert Lovaglio each hit field goals to keep the five-point lead.
The Wolfpack remained in control until a fast-break lay-in gave the Crusaders a one-point lead. LU and WCU went back-and-forth over the next five minutes until a Drew Meyerchick three-pointer put William Carey up for good with 2:35 to play.
The ‘Pack kept it close, getting a jumper from Gray and a trey from Lovaglio to fall to keep the deficit to three. Late free throws for the Crusaders were the nails in the coffin for the Wolfpack.
Gray, the defending NAIA National Division I Player of the Week, continued shooting well from long-range, as he continues to be ranked third in the nation in three-point shooting percentage at 50 percent overall.
Kohnke, a New Orleans native and graduate of Isidore Newman School, tallied a career-high in rebounds, as he led the ‘Pack with 11, and he also scored 11 points. Lovaglio put in 10 points for the Wolfpack, and Darrinton Moncrieffe swatted a pair of Crusader shots on the night.
The ‘Pack play another conference road game their next time out against the Auburn-Montgomery Senators on Saturday night. The game will follow the ‘Pack’s women’s game, and is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.
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