NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball team (7-4, 1-3) will be experiencing déjà vu December 17 when they play host to #21 Xavier (7-2) at 4 p.m. in The Den.
Xavier was nationally ranked #21 in the NAIA when Loyola upset the Gold Rush 66-59 inside The Barn. Xavier then dropped out of the top-25 in last week’s polls, only to regain their #21 status this week. Thus, the Wolfpack have a chance to sweep the Gold Rush this season in home and away contests for the first time in the school’s history, and knock off the #21 team in the nation twice.
On the November 29 bout, four Wolfpack players scored double-digit points. Steven Davis scored a season high 10 points, gathered seven rebounds, and delivered two clutch blocks. Furthermore, Corey Gray and Cameron Cates tallied 13 and 10 points respectively. Finally, Robert Lovaglio recorded his second double double of the season, scoring 15 points and securing 11 rebounds. The double double was the first in five seasons given up by Xavier.
Also in that game, Loyola shot 36.7% from the field, 2-5 from beyond the arc, and 75.7% from the free throw line. The ‘Pack forced 15 Gold Rush turnovers that resulted in eight points.
Now, the ‘Pack seek back to back home victories after last defeating SUNO 84-78 on December 6. Robert Lovaglio recorded his fifth 20+ scoring game of the season. The sophomore forward tallied 25 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and two steals. The sophomore currently ranks 19th in the NAIA in total scoring (210).
Loyola is averaging 72.8 points per game and shooting 44% from the field compared to Xavier’s 70.9 ppg and 43.4%. The Wolfpack is also shooting 75.7% from the free throw line, which is the fourth best percentage in the NAIA.
Nick Haywood leads the Gold Rush in scoring with 10.25 points per game. Haywood also led the team in scoring in the previous Loyola contest when he tallied 14 points. In addition, Cordell Hadnot leads the team in rebounds, averaging seven per game.
If you can’t make it to The Den on Saturday, you can either watch the game on livestream.com/loyolawolfpack or listen live on WGSO 990 AM.
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