NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball team (9-5, 2-4) will clash with Spring Hill College (8-5, 3-3) this Thursday night inside The Den at 7:30 p.m. The matchup marks the first SSAC West Divisional game and the first against another Jesuit school for the Wolfpack this season.
The ‘Pack return home after completing a two game road trip, defeating Brewton Parker 73-66 on Friday but falling to #13 Southern Poly 79-83 in overtime on Saturday. Freshman McCall Tomeny was selected to the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight Honor Roll for his performance over the weekend in which he scored a career high 28 points vs. Southern Poly and produced his first double-double of his career.
Also on Thursday night, Corey Gray will be recognized for becoming the 24th player in Loyola men’s basketball history to reach the 1,000 career points milestone. The senior guard currently ranks 20th on the all-time scoring list with 1,090 points. Gray now sits behind Bob McLaughlin and Jarrod Kincaid who have 1,103 and 1,104 points respectively.
Spring Hill enters Thursday’s contest with a two game losing streak. The Badgers search to climb above .500 on the road with their 4-4 away record, as the ‘Pack look to build upon their home court advantage this season, boasting a 5-2 record in The Den.
Loyola leads the overall series against Spring Hill 67-60. The Wolfpack-Badgers rivalry dates back to inaugural 1923 season when Loyola emerged victorious 27-23. Last season the two squads split the two game season series, with the ‘Pack losing 58-63 at Spring Hill then winning 67-56 at home.
Jake Thelen leads the Badgers in points per game (17.92) and rebounds per game (7.31). The freshman forward ranks sixth in the NAIA in field goal percentage with .658. Senior guard Stephen Burches averages 4.77 assists per game, which ranks 21st in the NAIA.
Loyola vs. Spring Hill will be featured as part of the nationwide Jesuit Basketball Spotlight project, using Jesuit basketball to raise awareness of Jesuit education. The matchup is one of more than 90 games this season between men’s and women’s teams from the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities across the United States. Each of the 28 is dedicated to strong academics and teaching women and men to serve others and live a faith that does justice.
Jesuit, Catholic colleges and universities in the United States have more than 200,000 students currently and more than 1.7 million living alumni. The Jesuit educational mission began in Europe approximately 500 years ago. For more information on Jesuit higher education in the United States, go to: www.ajcunet.edu.
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