(New Orleans, La.) Loyola University New Orleans used an 11-0 second half run to pull away from the College of Coastal Georgia and win 91-85 Friday night at The Den.
The Pack trailed 52-48 at the 14:40 mark of the second half, but Aleksander Matoski scored six points, Jalen Gray made a bucket and Kyle Simmons drilled a three pointer to turn the game around in just two minutes and 10 seconds. Matoski hit a jumper with 10:25 left in the game to give the Pack their largest lead of 10 points.
However, the Mariners went on a 7-0 run thanks to four straight free throws and a PJ Reason three pointer. Coastal Georgia would then go on to tie the game at 75 with 3:03 remaining when Michael Matta hit a three pointer from the corner off a Reggie Burke pass. However the Wolf Pack did not relent and never allowed Coastal Georgia to retake the lead. Mason Ibert hit two consecutive shots in the lane and McCall Tomeny converted a three point play and the Wolf Pack closed out the game by making free throws.
Simmons led the Pack in scoring with 20 points as he hit three triples and dished out three assists. Ibert and Tomeny came off the bench to score 18 points apiece. Matoski scored 15 on the night as he added two triples of his own. Roco Gandara led the team in rebounding as he pulled down a career high 10 rebounds in 18 minutes of action. Jalen Gray led the squad in assists with five while also adding nine points.
All five Mariners starters scored in double figures led by Reggie Burke who scored 23 points thanks to making all 11 of his free throw attempts. Matta had 19 points as he hit three shots from behind the arc. Reason tallied three triples of his own to score 12 points and add a team best eight rebounds. Kentorey Johnson scored 13 and added a game high six assists. Kostas Ezomo tallied 14 points.
The two teams played a competitive game as the Mariners outrebounded the Pack 43-41 and hit more three’s, 8-7. The Pack turned the ball over only 11 times while forcing 17 miscues. Loyola made 46.5% of their shots compared to 45.8% for Coastal Georgia.
“It was a really nice team effort against a high-energy opponent. I am very proud of the guys who came off the bench and played very well. Mason and Roco had great efforts and I was proud of the way we finished the game,” said Head Coach Dr. Michael Giorlando.
The Wolf Pack will be back in action on Saturday, November 23rd as they take on Southern Polytechnic State University at 5 p.m. in The Den.