HATTIESBURG, MISS. – The Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball squad defeated William Carey 63-58 inside Clinton Gym. The Wolfpack improve to 18-9, 10-7 in SSAC play, while the Crusaders drop to 12-17 overall and 8-9 in conference competition.
The ‘Pack have now won four straight games equalling their longest streak of the season. Loyola has won seven of their last nine games.
Robert Lovaglio led the team with 21 points on 8-12 shooting from the field, 1-1 from three point range, and 4-5 from the free throw line. Lovaglio also added five rebounds and four assists to the team’s cause.
Loyola jumped out to a 10-2 lead to start the game, getting scoring contributions from Lovaglio, Joseph, and Cates. The defense also sparked the early run, forcing four Crusader turnovers and holding WCU 0-5 from beyond the arc.
The Carey shooters warmed as they connected on their next four of five attempts from distance, tying the game for the first time at 26 points at the 6:49 mark. The Crusaders claimed their first lead of the game at the 4:35 mark thanks to a Jamal Doss bucket.
After an 8-0 run at the end of the first half by William Carey, Lovaglio ended the drought and sent the Wolfpack into the locker room down four at 34-30. The sophomore tallied 15 of the team’s 30 points in the first half.
After back to back buckets to start the second half, William Carey built their largest lead of the game to eight points. The Wolfpack responded with a 13-4 run, capped off by a three-pointer by Joseph to knot the game at 43 with 9:40 remaining.
The game saw seven lead changes over the next four minutes. The ‘Pack finally found separation starting at the three minute mark when they produced a 7-0 run to go up 59-53.
Loyola, the fourth best free throw shooting team in the NAIA, closed out the game converting 16-18 from the charity stripe to clinch the game 63-58.
Chris Joseph and Corey Gray finished in double figures with 13 points each. Joseph shot 5-10 from the field and delivered the steal and lay-up that jump-started the 7-0 run at the end of the game. Gray grabbed a team leading eight rebounds and went 7-8 from the line.
Jamal Doss, Roderick Little, and Donzedrick Smith led the attack for the Crusaders. Doss netted a team high 16 points, while Little and Smith recorded 14 and 13 points respectively.
William Carey falls two games back from Loyola in the divisional standings. The Wolfpack victory, coupled with Mobile’s 64-58 loss to Faulkner tonight, gives Loyola sole possession of first place of the SSAC West. The ‘Pack finish the regular season .500 on the road at 7-7.
Loyola returns home on Saturday for the regular season finale. The Wolfpack will take on Mobile on Senior Day in The Den. Tip off is slated for 4 p.m.
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