NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball team held off Webber International, 89-84, in overtime to take their season opener on Friday night at The Den.
In the extra period, senior Ryan Brock found a wide open Corey Gray for three, putting Loyola up 87-81 with 1:30 remaining. The Warriors cut the deficit to three late before Gray sealed the season opening victory with a pair of free throws.
Brock led all scorers with 27 points while dishing out five assists. Gray and freshman Tommy Stangl finished with 14 points each. Junior Cameron Cates led the ‘Pack with 10 rebounds.
“Despite struggling handling the ball, we survived a great comeback by Webber and were able to rally in overtime for a victory,” said Loyola head coach Dr. Michael Giorlando. “I thought Ryan Brock made some terrific plays late and Tommy Stangl was solid in his first collegiate game. We'll use this as a learning tool as we get ready for Tuesday night at Dillard.”
Webber International (0-1) was led by Junior Geidi with 25 points. Geidi hit a three-pointer in the final seconds of regulation to send the game in overtime at 80. Preston Adams added 14 points and Gabriel Rutledge recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards.
Loyola (1-0) started the game with the first six points, but then neither team could take control in the opening half. Following the eighth tie at 30-30, the ‘Pack went into the break with a slim 35-31 lead.
In the second period, LU went up 41-33 after Darrinton Moncrieffe slammed home an offensive rebound. With 12:40 left to go, Brock pushed the lead to 51-40 after a layup on a steal.
The Maroon and Gold’s lead stretched to 69-57 when Stangl hit Brock for a basket with under six minutes left, and then the ‘Pack looked to be cruising to victory, up 78-69 with 3:00 remaining.
The Warriors chipped away at the deficit with free throws and then pulled within one, 78-77, on a bucket from Taula Kolomatangi with 25 seconds left.
Brock hit a pair of crucial free throws with 17 seconds left, but Geidi answered for Webber with a three, tying the game at 80.
The ‘Pack scored the first four points of OT, and then Gray sealed the win with his three.
Loyola shot 46.2 percent from the field and held Webber to 33.3. LU held a slight edge on the boards, 52-46.
Loyola returns to action on Tuesday, Nov. 2 when they head across town to Dent Hall to take on Dillard University at 7 p.m.