(Montgomery, AL) McCall Tomeny continued his hot play as he scored 40 points and had 14 rebounds to lead Loyola University New Orleans to a 99-72 victory over College of Coastal Georgia. The matchup between the Wolf Pack and the Mariners was a play-in game that opened the SSAC men’s tournament at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama.
McCall Tomeny and Robert Lovaglio each hit a three in the opening minutes as the Wolf Pack opened the game on a 9-0 run and never looked back as they led for all but 10 seconds to advance to the quarterfinals of the SSAC tournament. Loyola will face the top seed from the east division and #2 nationally ranked Lee University at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, February 28th.
The Mariners took a brief lead when Kostas Ezomo scored a bucket off a pass from Jevan Billinger to give Coastal Georgia a 33-32 lead, but Tomeny scored on the Wolf Pack’s next trip with 1:57 left in the first half. The game was still close at halftime as Loyola held a 40-33 lead at intermission. Tomeny led the Pack with 15 points and 8 rebounds in the first half while Lovaglio poured in 11.
The lead was still seven for Loyola when they went on a 9-2 run to start a great second half in which they outscored the Mariners 59-39. Tomeny was even better in the second half as he put in 24 points and six rebounds in the second stanza.
Tomeny finished the game 13 for 19 as he set a career high in points and rebounds with 40 points and 14 boards. He scored more than 20 points for the third consecutive game. Lovaglio went five of six from three point range on the way to 23 points for the Wolf Pack (16-13). Cameron Hill also finished in double figures with 12 points and six rebounds.
Reggie Burke scored 24 points on 8 of 19 shooting to lead the Mariners. P.J. Reason scored 19 points before fouling out late in the game. Billinger scored 12 and Ezomo put in 11 to round out the scorers in double figures. Billinger led the team with five assists. Burke, Ezomo, and Reason all finished with a team high four rebounds.
The Wolf Pack shot 53.3% from the field while holding Coastal Georgia to 36.6% from the field. Loyola shot 47.4% from behind the arc thanks in large part due to Lovaglio’s five of six from the distance. The Wolf Pack dominated the boards 48-25 which helped them overcome a 22-14 disadvantage in turnovers.
"I was very proud of our effort in the second half and our defensive pressure picked up. Our rebounding was a contributing factor in the win. We will put this behind us and start to prepare for Lee," said Loyola head coach Dr. Michael Giorlando.
Loyola (16-13, 9-9) advances to take on Lee University (28-2, 16-2) who was on a 15 game winning streak before falling to #17 ranked Emmanuel in their final game of the season. Loyola lost 65-74 on the road in the teams only previous meeting this season.
Coastal Georgia (7-23, 5-13) sees their season come to a close with the loss.