NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball team cut a 14-point second half deficit to one, but were unable to take the lead as they fell to No. 7 Southern Polytechnic State University, 73-67, on Saturday evening at The Den.
Loyola (5-4) trailed 65-55 with less than six minutes remaining before putting together a 9-0 run. The ‘Pack got a pair of 3-pointers from Corey Gray and Robert Lovaglio in the run, then Ryan Brock, who had a season-high 30 points, capped off the spurt with a bucket to put the score at 65-64 with 3:26 left.
Following a timeout, Southern Polytechnic State (6-2) responded with a game-clinching 8-0 run. The Hornets held Loyola scoreless the rest of the way until Brock made a basket and-one with nine seconds left, making the final score, 73-67.
Brock led the Wolfpack with 30 points on 10-of-19 from the field and 10-of-12 from the line. Corey Gray added 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting.
Southern Poly, of the SSAC East Division, was led by Darrien Beacham with 20 points. Beacham had 12 in the first half which included three of his four 3-pointers as SPSU took a 40-30 lead at the break.
The Hornets raced out to an 8-0 lead, but the Wolfpack answered with eight straight points to even the score at the 13:16 mark. Beacham hit a three on the next possession, and the Hornets never surrendered the lead the rest of the way.
Four minutes into the second half, Brock made the score 43-40 with a fast break layup. However, over the next three minutes, SPSU put together a 15-4 run to take their largest lead of the night at 58-44.
Loyola picked up the pace late in the game to come within a point but Southern Poly would go on hand the Wolfpack their third consecutive loss at The Den.
The Hornet bench outscored Loyola’s, 41-12, led by Xavier Dawson with 17 and Kevin Anderson with 10. Dawson and Beacham each finished with a game-high four steals as SPSU recorded 14 total in the win.
LU shot 44 percent from the field and made 77 percent of their free throws. SPSU finished at 40 percent from the floor and 62 percent at the line. The Hornets connected on 10 3-pointers on the evening and held a 36-33 advantage on the boards.
Loyola is back in action at The Den on Monday, Dec. 6, when they host city-rival, No. 20 Xavier University at 7 p.m.