NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball team defeated Spring Hill College 67-65 Thursday night in The Den. The Wolfpack move to 10-5 on the season and 3-4 in SSAC play.
On the night Corey Gray was honored for reaching the 1,000-career point milestone, the senior guard sparked the Wolfpack’s attack, scoring 23 points. Gray shot 8-14 from the field, 4-7 from beyond the arc, and 3-4 from the free throw line. Gray is now 18th on the Loyola all time career scoring list, passing Bob McLaughlin and Jarrod Kincaid in tonight’s game.
In his second career start for the ‘Pack, freshman Kyle Simmons tallied a career high 11 points. Cameron Cates also secured double digit points tonight, scoring 13 on 40% shooting from the floor.
In the first half, it was a back and forth battle between the two conference foes, as there were a total of eight lead changes. The ‘Pack’s disciplined defense did not allow a single free throw attempt to the Badgers squad. The Wolfpack rolled into halftime with a 31-25 lead.
Loyola remained focused coming out of the locker room, as they maintained their lead throughout the entire second half. The Badgers threatened twice in the second, cutting the Wolfpack’s 14 point lead to two at the six minute mark and down to four with less than 10 seconds remaining. Yet, the ‘Pack’s resilience shown through, as the offense was able to get to the line 17 times in the half and the defense maintained their pressure, forcing 20 total Spring Hill turnovers.
“The game was a hard fought battle. We had a really strong first half defensive performance. They threw some runs at us in the second half, but we were able to get to the line and win the game,” said Loyola head men’s basketball coach Dr. Michael Giorlando. “We had a couple of key guys coming off the bench to help us out and give us a spark. Steve Davis contributed well inside. Kyle Simmons also showed some maturity in his second career start. It was a pretty good overall win”
Jake Thelen led the Badgers in scoring, recording a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Stephen Burches also contributed double figures with 17 points on 50% shooting from the field.
The ‘Pack return to action Saturday at 2 p.m. when they square off against cross-town rival UNO inside The Den.
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