NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball team defeated #21 Xavier 95-91 in triple overtime. The Wolfpack sweep the Gold Rush for the first time in school history.
All five Loyola starters registered double digit points tonight, with senior Corey Gray fueling the ‘Pack’s attack, playing a total of 52 minutes. Gray scored 23 points, shot 8-8 from the free throw line, and grabbed a career high nine rebounds.
McCall Tomeny scored a career high 19 points, shooting 7-10 from the field and 5-5 from the line. Joseph tallied a season high 15 points, going 3-6 from three-point range. Finally, Robert Lovaglio and Cameron Cates recorded 13 and 16 points respectively.
In the first half, Xavier built a 10-point lead with eight minutes remaining thanks to 5-9 shooting from beyond the arc. The Gold Rush spread the wealth, as eight different players registered points. Loyola would cut the deficit to 30-28, ending the half on a 7-0 run and a Chris Joseph three-pointer with 35 seconds remaining.
In the second half, Joseph delivered on another clutch three to give the Wolfpack their first lead of the game at the 16:32 mark. The half eventually saw six total lead changes. With Loyola down two with 10 seconds remaining, Gray grabbed his own rebound from a three-point shot and converted the short two to send it to overtime.
In the first overtime, the ‘Pack had a three point lead with 16 seconds left, but Xavier’s Nick Haywood converted a three with six seconds left. In double overtime, Loyola took a one-point lead on a McCall Tomeny basket with less than 45 seconds to play. Then, Wanto Joseph had a chance to recapture the lead but only converted on one of two free throws, thus knotting the game at 83 a piece and sending it to another overtime.
With two minutes remaining in triple overtime, the score was tied at 88, and Joseph and Gray took over the game for the Wolfpack. The duo outscored the Gold Rush 7-3 and iced the contest for the ‘Pack.
“It was hard fought game by both teams. I’m just glad we came out on top. Give credit to both teams. It’s a great rivalry,” said Loyola head coach Dr. Michael Giorlando. “I thought our rebounding was huge. We really stepped up big in that department. Joseph and Gray delivered clutch performances, and I think teams will also start taking notice of McCall Tomeny.
The Gold Rush also had five players with double-digit points. Denzell Erves recorded 17 points, Wanto Joseph with 15, Chris Iles with 12, and Nick Haywood with 15. In addition, Cordell Hadnot accomplished a double double, scoring 10 points and gathering 12 rebounds.
The ‘Pack return to action December 29 at 2 p.m. in their last exhibition match of the season against Southern University in Baton Rouge.
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