(New Orleans, La.) Loyola University New Orleans upset #13 Xavier University of Louisiana 77-67 in men’s basketball Wednesday night in the first meeting between the two schools in the Convocation Center on Xavier’s campus.
Steve Davis and Robert Lovaglio put the Pack in front early with a pair of baskets in the opening minutes. The Wolf Pack sustained the lead until the 6:53 mark as a Wanto Joseph three pointer put Xavier on top 19-18. LU’s McCall Tomeny responded with a basket a minute later, and the Pack closed out the period leading 32-29.
The game remained close most of the second half with neither team enjoying a lead larger than five over the first nine minutes. Xavier Rodgers gave the Gold Rush their last lead of the contest with 10:50 to play. Loyola quickly regained the advantage on the next possession with a three pointer from Jared Townsend.
XU pulled within two points with 6:14 remaining with another Rogers bucket. Loyola went on an 11-0 run to answer back and converted 6 of 8 free throws in the last minute to capture the win.
For the second consecutive game, Lovaglio scored 27 points for the Wolf Pack. He converted 8 of 14 from the field and 10 of 12 from the free throw line. It was the seventh contest this season that he has scored over 20 points. Tomeny grabbed a game high eight rebounds to go along with eight points. Five other Wolf Pack players scored eight points on the evening to round out the balanced offensive attack.
For Xavier (9-2), Joseph led with 26 points on 9 of 17 shooting from the field. Rogers came off the bench to add 11.
“Tonight was a hard fought game against a disciplined Xavier team. We worked hard on the defensive end to keep them from getting second chances and controlling the boards. Our bench gave us great minutes tonight, particularly Cameron Hill and Jared Townsend. I was also pleased with our ability to convert free throws down the stretch,” said Loyola head coach Dr. Michael Giorlando.
The Wolf Pack (7-4) shooters were on target this evening converting 61.1% from the field, 60.0% from behind the arc, and 71.1% from the free throw line. Xavier made 42.3% in field goal attempts and 37.5% from distance. Loyola converted 27 shots from the charity stripe compared to Xavier’s 17. Loyola held a 30-23 advantage in rebounding.
It was the second consecutive season that Loyola has won on Xavier’s campus. Last year, the Wolf Pack defeated the Gold Rush 66-59 in The Barn.
Loyola returns to action against another city rival on Saturday. They will face off against Dillard University with tip off in The Den slated for 4 p.m.
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