Hattiesburg, Miss. - The Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball team came back from an 18-point deficit to lead by as much as six, but William Carey University rallied back to win 74-71 on Saturday night at Clinton Gym.
With 6.6 seconds remaining, a free throw by William Carey’s Marcus Spann gave the Crusaders a three-point lead. His second attempt was off the mark, then Sean Bennett put up a deep three that just missed as time expired.
Loyola (13-16, 5-13 GCAC) was led by Ryan Brock with a game-high 27 points. Torry Beaulieu added 14 points and eight rebounds while Chris Joseph came off the bench to hit two key three-points and finished with nine points.
William Carey (22-7, 12-6 GCAC) had three players in double figures, led by Daniel Huggins with 20 points. Terry Wade had 13 and Cory Smith added 10.
Trailing 44-31 at the half, Loyola put together a 27-8 run to open the second period to grab a 58-52 lead with eight minutes to go. Joseph hit a three to bring Loyola within one, then the Wolfpack took the lead at 51-50 after Darrinton Moncrieffe made a bucket underneath off a no-look pass from Beaulieu. After Joseph hit another three to put the ‘Pack up four, Brock hit a pair of free throws to cap off the run.
William Carey answered with an 8-0 run which included a three from Huggins that gave the Crusaders the lead for good at 63-62 at the 4:35 mark. William Carey’s lead grew to 68-63 with under three minutes left, then were able to convert on six free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
Both teams struggled from the field, with Loyola shooting 37 percent and the Crusaders finishing at 38 percent. Loyola had the edge on the boards at 51-37.
Loyola returns to action on Tuesday for a first round matchup at SUNO in the GCAC Tournament. Each team won at home in the season series.