(New Orleans, La.) Loyola University New Orleans is set to take on Auburn University Montgomery with third place in the SSAC’s western division on the line in the regular season finale. The game will tip off at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 23rd at AUM’s Physical Education Complex.
Loyola (15-12, 9-8) enters the matchup in a third place tie with Auburn-Montgomery (12-13, 9-8). The two teams will both be looking to secure the third spot in the western division to avoid playing in the tournament’s first round. The fourth and fifth place teams in each division will play first round games while the third seed will secure a bye to the quarterfinals.
The two teams met up on January 31st as the Wolf Pack came away 67-60 winners at The Den. Loyola opened the game on a 22-5 run and never trailed as Robert Lovaglio led the Pack with 15 points and Steve Davis had 11 points, six rebounds, and four blocks. Justin Trotter came off the bench to lead AUM with 19 points, including five three pointers made.
Loyola enters the game after a heartbreaking 72-69 overtime loss to Belhaven. The Pack tied the game late in regulation on a McCall Tomeny steal and layup, but fell in the extra period as they missed a game tying three pointer with five seconds left. The Wolf Pack entered the game against Belhaven on a two game winning streak which included a victory over ninth ranked Faulkner University.
The Warhawks fell to 11th ranked William Carey 69-60 in their last tilt. They had entered that matchup on a modest three game winning streak with victories over Spring Hill, Mobile, and Huntingdon College.
Lovaglio is Loyola’s top scorer for the season with an average of 20.3 points nightly. Tomeny has come on strong, averaging 14.2 points a game but has scored in double figures in 10 of the last 11 games for the Wolf Pack. Tomeny also leads the team with 6.8 rebounds a game. Kyle Simmons is the team leader with 2.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Simmons scores 9.4 points per tilt, which is third on the squad.
Reshad Bickham averages 13.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.04 blocks per game which are all team highs. Quay Davis averages 10.3 points and a Warhawk best 2.7 assists a contest. LaRel Jackson averages 1.3 steals per game for AUM.