(Jackson, Miss) Loyola University New Orleans fell to Belhaven University 72-69 in overtime on Thursday night in Heidelberg Gymnasium. McCall Tomeny tied the game late in regulation but Loyola could not hit a last second shot to force a second extra period.
With 43 seconds left in regulation the Wolf Pack trailed 64-62 but Tomeny stole the ball from Jordan Butts and made a layup to tie the score. With 28 seconds left Chris Cofield tried to hit a layup but was rejected by Tomeny. Cofield got the rebound but missed a layup, Tomeny secured the rebound, but Loyola could not get a shot away as the teams went to overtime.
Tomeny made a layup with two minutes remaining in the extra period off a pass from Kyle Simmons to retie the score at 69. However Butts hit a layup off a pass from Curt Hall to give the Blazers the lead. Hall then went 1 for 2 from the line with 13 seconds left to give the Wolf Pack a chance to tie the game. Kyle Simmons was unable to convert a three pointer with four seconds left as the Wolf Pack fell.
Belhaven jumped out to an 18 point lead in the first half thanks in part to an 8-0 run where Cofield hit five straight points for the Blazers. Belhaven took a 40-29 lead into halftime and were able to push the lead back to 18 with 15 minutes remaining in the game. Later, the Wolf Pack went on a 13-4 run to bring the deficit to only four thanks to four points from Robert Lovaglio and a three from Mason Ibert. Loyola was able to tie the game for the first time with 43 seconds remaining on Tomeny’s steal and layup.
Loyola (15-12, 9-8) remains tied for third place with Auburn-Montgomery despite the loss. AUM fell 69-60 to William Carey on Thursday night. Belhaven (12-17, 8-9) is currently in fifth place in the SSAC’s western division. Loyola and AUM will battle in the season finale with the winner receiving the first round bye in the conference tournament.
Tomeny finished the game with 20 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks to lead the Wolf Pack. Cameron Hill came off the bench to score 16 points and also grabbed nine rebounds. Lovaglio, who leads the Pack in points per game, finished with 11 points. Kyle Simmons had a team high four assists and two steals to go along with six points.
Cofield led the Blazers with 23 points and nine rebounds. Hall also finished with nine boards. Butts had 18 points and five assists for Belhaven. Datodrick Pinkston was the third player in double figures with 16 points.
The Wolf Pack shot 41.5% from the field and was able to force overtime despite shooting 15.4% from the three point arc and 59.1% from the free throw line. Loyola won the rebounding battle 45-41 and forced Belhaven to 40.9% shooting.
The Wolf Pack will return to action on Saturday February 23rd in the crucial season finale in which they face Auburn Montgomery at 4:00 p.m. at AUM’s Physical Education Complex.