NEW ORLEANS, La. – Ryan Brock scored 34 points and Corey Gray added 33 as the Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball team defeated Auburn University Montgomery in overtime, 96-91, on Saturday night.
Brock added nine rebounds and five assists. Junior center Cameron Cates had career-highs in rebounds (10), blocked shots (4) and assists (4).
The first 14 minutes of the first half were back-and-forth, with neither team taking more than a four-point lead. With 5:37 to play in the half, with the score knotted at 20, AUM (8-17, 5-6 SSAC) went on a 10-point run, highlighted by three-pointers by Marquez Brooks and Charles Perona.
Down the stretch, Gray made a pair of free throws for the Wolfpack (13-12, 5-5 SSAC) and Tommy Stangl hit a three-pointer, but AUM took an eight-point advantage into halftime.
To open the second half, Brooks hit a layup to give AUM its biggest lead of the game at 37-27. From there, LU responded by going on a 13-1 run to take its first lead of the second half. During the run, Gray and Brock scored six points each.
After the game got tied up again at 43, Loyola went on another big run, scoring 12 straight points to take the 55-43 advantage. Brock converted two three-point plays during the stretch, and Gray hit 3-of-4 free throws after AUM’s Stephen Jordan was whistled for back-to-back technical fouls.
AUM would fight back, bringing the game back within four. The ‘Pack got back-to-back scores from Gray and Brock, followed by a pair of free throws from Chris Joseph to pull ahead by double digits again with 7:48 to play.
The Senators chipped away at the lead little by little until finally retaking the lead with nine seconds to play, as Perona converted a pair of free throws. Michael Lee made two more charity shots to make the score 81-78 AUM with 1.3 seconds to play.
Coming out of a timeout, Stangl made a three-quarter-court pass to Cates, who handed it off to Gray, who pulled up for a quick three, nailing the shot as time expired. With the score tied at 81, the game proceeded to overtime.
The Wolfpack took control early in the extra frame, as Gray scored buckets on the first two possessions. Gray and Jamal Silas each hit two free throws, and Cates scored on a reverse layin to make the score 92-84 LU. AUM responded with a run to keep the game close, bringing it as close as 93-91 with 12 seconds to play, but two free throws from Gray and one from Brock sealed the victory for the home team.
The team will next play in an exhibition tilt at Southern Miss at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Hattiesburg.
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