NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball team will start the new year with a two game road trip this weekend in Georgia. The Wolfpack clash with Brewton Parker on Friday in Mt. Vernon and Southern Poly on Saturday in Marietta.
Loyola’s last official match came December 17 when they defeated then #21 Xavier University 95-91 in triple overtime. After break, the squad nearly knocked off NCAA Division-I school Southern University, falling 68-73 in an exhibition in Baton Rouge.
The Wolfpack start 2012 with an 8-4 overall record and 1-3 in conference play. Loyola is currently ranked 3rd in the NAIA in free throw percentage (.755), 45th in three-point field goal percentage defense (.316), and 47th in total blocks (37).
Loyola’s one conference victory came November 18 when they defeated Southern Wesleyan 78-70. The upcoming weekend allows the ‘Pack to climb back to .500 in conference play and prepare for the SSAC West Division portion of their schedule, starting Jan. 12th against Spring Hill.
"Our team is ready to get back to conference action against two of the hottest teams in the east division. We will have to be solid defensively for both halves by minimizing transition and second chance baskets against both teams who play extremely hard for 40 minutes," said Head Coach Dr. Michael Giorlando.
Tip-off for Friday’s game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CST inside the Student Activities Center. Brewton Parker is 5-6 overall but 3-1 in conference play. The Barons last played on Dec. 12, losing to Albany State 58-71.
Brewton Parker is ranked 5th in turnover margin (6.73) and 40th in three-point field goal percentage (.349). The Wolfpack and Barons have only met twice in the history of the two programs, with Loyola emerging victorious in both encounters (2009-10 & 2010-11 seasons). Yan Moukoury leads the Barons in scoring per game (15.18), rebounds per game (7.46), assists per game (1.73), and steals per game (1.82).
Tip-off for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. CST inside the Athletic Gymnasium. Southern Poly is ranked 13th in the nation with a 10-2 overall record and a 4-0 record in SSAC competition. The ‘Pack and Hornets rivalry started in 2008 when Loyola defeated Southern Poly 86-78. Since then, the two schools have met only once, with the Wolfpack losing this time to a score of 67-73. Loyola is perfect this season against ranked competition, knocking off the #21 team in the NAIA twice.
The Hornets have won six straight, including victories over Auburn Montgomery and Faulkner. They are ranked 1st in the country in steals per game (14.417), 4th in offensive rebounds per game (16.417), and 6th in three-point field goals made per game (9.08).
Bobby Smith leads the Hornets in scoring, averaging 14 points per game, while Cortez Irby leads in rebounds with 9.42 per game. Trey Payne is ranked 11th in the NAIA in total steals with 37 and leads the team in assists with 3.83 per game.
Be sure to follow the Loyola men’s basketball team this weekend on Facebook and Twitter for any and all updates and results at facebook.com/loyolawolfpack and twitter.com/loyolawolfpack.
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