NEW ORLEANS – Ryan Brock scored a season-high 33 points while Darrinton Moncrieffe and Corey Gray came through with clutch free throws as the Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball team defeated the SUNO Knights, 96-95, in double-OT on Wednesday night at The Den.
Loyola (6-6) took a quick 2-0 lead on a Brock lay up off the opening tip and would not surrender their lead until the final seconds of regulation. The Wolfpack led by as much as 17 points in the second half, but SUNO slowly cut into the deficit and an off-balanced three-pointer by Brent Laduff with 18 seconds left would even the score for the first time of the night. After an LU turnover, the Knights missed a half-court shot, sending the game into OT.
Trailing by two in overtime, Leduff drained his fourth three-pointer of the night, giving SUNO an 85-83 edge. Still down two at 86-84, Loyola’s Moncrieffe was fouled with 2.5 seconds left. The senior from Baton Rouge knocked down both from the line, putting the game into double-OT.
In the final period, LU took a 92-88 lead after Robert Lovaglio scored on a put-back with less than three minutes remaining. However, Ricardo Porter, who finished with 19 points for the Knights, nailed back-to-back threes to even to game at 93. On the ensuing possession, Gray, who finished with 15 points, drew a foul for the ‘Pack with 1:16 left and would make good on both.
SUNO had a chance to tie the game once again, but Porter missed his first attempt on a double bonus with 58 seconds left. The Knights picked up a stop, but a runner in the lane by Leduff fell short as time expired.
Brock’s season-high of 33 came off of 11 of 20 from the field and 11 of 13 from the line. He had a game-high seven assists and grabbed five boards. Gray and Tommy Stangl had three three-pointers each, with Stangl finishing with 11 points. Moncrieffe also added 11 points and four blocks while Lovaglio came off the bench for 12 points.
Loyola went into the break up 49-34 after shooting 68 percent from the field. They ended the night at 53 percent (32 of 60).
SUNO (4-8) shot 45 percent (33 of 74) from the field and made 10 of 24 from behind the arc. Leduff paced the offense with 26 points and 10 assists, Christopher Palmer scored 16, and Andre Davis added 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Knights out rebounded LU, 46-28.
Loyola held a comfortable lead for most of the first stanza, leading 32-25 with 3:23 left. However, Gray found Brock for a lay up on the next possession to spark a 17-7 run right before intermission. Brock scored 23 points in the period as LU went into the break up 15.
Midway through the second period, SUNO shrunk the deficit to 62-55 on a three from Porter. The Knights continued to hang around and then Leduff’s desperation three banked in off the glass to tie the game.
With the win, Loyola improves to 3-1 on the year against New Orleans rivals. Their next Crescent City matchup is on Jan. 15 at Xavier.
Loyola returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 8, when they host St. Thomas (TX) at 2 p.m. STU beat the Wolfpack in Houston, 97-75, before the holiday break.