NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball team (13-7, 5-6 SSAC) begin a three-game road trip Thursday night, starting against the University of Mobile (9-12, 5-6 SSAC) at 7:30 pm inside H. Austill Pharr Gymnasium.
The Wolfpack currently boast a two game win streak after defeating conference foes William Carey and Auburn Montgomery last week. Loyola is now tied for second in the SSAC West Divisional standings along with Spring Hill, William Carey, and Thursday’s opponent Mobile. Furthermore, the ‘Pack sit 1.5 games behind division leader Belhaven, whom they don’t play until February 16 at home.
Corey Gray and company look to win three straight conference games for the first time this season. Gray was just announced earlier this week to the Jesuit Honor Roll for his performance during January 23-29, in which the senior guard scored a combined 47 points in two games. Gray now leads the team in scoring and steals, averaging 17.9 and 2.1 respectively.
Robert Lovaglio, who injured his ankle at the beginning of January, will progressively work his way back to more minutes with the squad. The team rebound leader played 14 minutes in the last game, scoring five points and grabbing five rebounds.
Senior Cameron Cates continues to have a stellar senior season. The center has scored double-digit points in 12 of his past 14 games. In addition, Loyola proceeds to expand their depth, with the bench tallying 29 points in the Auburn-Montgomery game.
Antonio Hester leads Mobile in scoring and rebounds with 16.1 points per game and 7.95 boards per game. The junior forward is ranked 1st in the NAIA in field goal percentage (.667), 10th in offensive rebounds per game (3.76), and 44th in blocks per game (1.14). Junior guard Ji Kimbrough also averages double-figures, scoring 14.33 points a game.
The Rams lead the overall series 30-6, as Loyola head coach Dr. Michael Giorlando is 5-10 against the squad from Mobile. Last season, the Wolfpack lost a 69-71 double overtime nail-biter inside H. Austill Pharr Gymnasium, in which Corey Gray led the team in scoring with 21 points. Coach Giorlando will be seeking his 99th victory with the ‘Pack this Thursday night.
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