NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball squad is gearing up for a crucial two game conference road trip starting Thursday night against Faulkner in Montgomery, Alabama. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. inside Tine Davis Gymnasium.
The Wolfpack is 11-5 this season and 3-4 in SSAC play. The ‘Pack have grinded out five victories in their last six games, winning by a margin no greater than seven. Their 67-65 Jesuit Basketball Spotlight win over Spring Hill catapulted Loyola to just a half game behind division leaders Spring Hill, Mobile, and William Carey.
Faulkner University is 9-8 on the year and 1-6 in conference play. The Eagles have lost six of their last eight games, but are coming off a big 60-50 home victory over SSAC West co-leader William Carey.
The ‘Pack is coming off of a 85-79 victory over UNO, in which Corey Gray led a 24-7 run in the final seven minutes, scoring 12 points in that span, 33 total for the game. The senior guard’s performance earned him player of the week honors from the SSAC, Louisiana Sports Writers Association, and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
The Wolfpack-Eagles series started in the 2002-03 season in which Loyola won 62-61. The overall series is tied at two games apiece. Last season, the Wolfpack won 80-77 at home then lost 60-68 on the road. With a win on Thursday, the ‘Pack can earn their first victory inside Tine Davis Gymnasium.
“We are hoping to continue to play hard and compete for 40 minutes. Faulkner has played some extremely tough games in conference and we have to be prepared for both their perimeter and inside presence or we will be in for a long evening,” said Loyola head men’s basketball coach Dr. Michael Giorlando. “They are extremely well coached team whose defense is one of the tops in the nation.”
Senior guard Chris Palmore leads the Eagles with 16.53 points per game, 6.65 rebounds per game, and 1.77 steals per game. Sophomore guard Jake Mitchell also averages double figures with 10.12 points per game and leads in assists per game with 4.12. Faulkner is ranked 4th in the NAIA in total rebound defense (29.353), 12th in scoring defense per game (62.882), and 34th in blocks per game (3.294)
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