NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball team looks to bounce back as they travel to Jackson, Mississippi for another SSAC West showdown with Belhaven. Tip-off between the Wolfpack (11-6, 3-5 SSAC) and the Blazers (9-11, 4-5 SSAC) is scheduled for 4 p.m. inside Heidelberg Gymnasium.
The ‘Pack will have to swiftly change their focus to Belhaven after losing 37-54 to Faulkner on Thursday night. Spring Hill sits atop the leader board at 4-4, Belhaven, Mobile, and William Carey are a half game out at 4-5, and Loyola trails by just one game.
The Loyola-Belhaven series started in the 1993-94 season with the Wolfpack taking the inaugural game 78-72. Yet, the Blazers are currently winning the overall series 24-14. Last season, the two squads split the two game series with Loyola winning 79-70 at home, and then falling in Jackson 67-76. Saturday’s game not only has big conference implications for both squads, but Loyola can also earn their first victory at Belhaven since the 2008-09 season.
Belhaven enters the matchup on a three game winning streak, defeating conference foes Auburn-Montgomery, Mobile, and William Carey. Both Brittion Smith and Jordan Butts registered 18 points in the win over Carey on Thursday night.
Senior forward Daryl Arnold leads the team in scoring with 14.42 points per game, while Andrew Marshall leads in rebounds with 6.75 boards per game. In addition, Arnold ranks 18th in the NAIA in total steals (47), and Marshall ranks 35th in total rebounds (35). The Blazers rank 16th in offensive rebounds per game (14.45) and 27th in total blocks (63).
Corey Gray and company look to re-establish an offense that had scored 67+ points in each of the six games preceding the Faulkner tilt. Gray leads the team with 290 total points on the year and currently sits below #14 Chard Barnes (1,191) on the all-time career scoring list with 1,154 points. Cameron Cates and McCall Tomeny look to add to their season resumes as well, as they average 12.19 and 11.31 points per game respectively.
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