(New Orleans, La.) Loyola University New Orleans will look to sweep the season series from #25 Xavier University of Louisiana as they host the Gold Rush at 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 14th in The Den.
The two teams will square off for the second time this season after Loyola pulled out a 74-70 victory in an exciting game on November 19th in Xavier’s Convocation Center. Loyola trailed 37-35 entering intermission but worked to get a nine point lead in the second half before needing to hold off a late Gold Rush rally. Kyle Simmons and Mason Ibert each scored 15 while Jalen Gray added 14 and Cameron Hill tallied 11 for a balanced Wolf Pack offense. Nate Pierre had his best game of the season on the defensive end as he had a team high seven rebounds to go with three blocks and a steal. Daniel Kuhl contributed six assists while Gray chipped in four. Xavier was led by 18 points from Morris Wright and 16 from Gary Smith. Sydney Coleman tallied 14 and a team best 11 rebounds. Xavier Rogers distributed five assists to lead the Gold Rush. Loyola is now 9-28 all-time against Xavier, but the Wolf Pack have won four of the last five games against their intercity rival.
The Wolf Pack (3-5) enter the game coming off a 87-62 defeat to Nicholls State University last weekend in an exhibition contest. The Pack received 23 points and 10 rebounds from McCall Tomeny. Kuhl and Gray each scored eight and the duo combined for five assists.
Tomeny is leading the Pack in scoring and rebounding this season as he is averaging 20 points and 9.8 rebounds on 47.1% shooting from the field. Gray leads the Pack with 2.6 assists per game. Loyola’s defense is ranked in the top 20 in the NAIA in field goal percentage (38.8%, 11th), three point field goal defense (28.3%, 13th), and scoring defense (68.4 ppg, 20th).
Xavier (7-3) comes into the rematch after scoring a 48-45 victory over Mobile. They got 14 points from Rogers to defeat one of Loyola’s SSAC rivals. Coleman added 13 points and a team high seven rebounds while Wright tallied five assists.
Wright leads the team in scoring and assists so far this season with averages of 14.8 points and 3.5 assists. Coleman grabs 7.4 rebounds a game to top the Gold Rush. The game figures to be a defensive battle as Xavier also boasts top 20 defensive rankings in field goal defense (38.3%, 9th), scoring defense (65.5, 11th), and total defensive rebounds (28.2, 7th).
The game will be broadcast on WGSO 990AM radio. You can find live video and live stats for the game at the following link: http://wolfpack.loyno.edu/mens-basketball/media.