(Mobile, AL) Loyola University New Orleans held on late to win an important matchup 58-48 against SSAC and Jesuit rival Spring Hill College Saturday night in Mobile, Alabama.
The Wolf Pack allowed the first eight points of the game, five of which were scored by Frederick Gatson, before responding with their own 21-2 run to take over the game. The Badgers never led again after Aleksandar Matoski tied the game at eight with 14:33 remaining in the first half. Loyola extended the lead to 31-18 at the halftime break.
The Wolf Pack still led by 10 with four minutes remaining, but six straight points cut the lead to four with one minute left in the game. However Cameron Hill made a layup and the Wolf Pack converted six straight free throws to seal the game for Loyola.
Hill came off the bench to lead all players in scoring with 16. He also pulled down eight rebounds, which was just behind teammate McCall Tomeny's game high nine boards. Tomeny also provided 11 points for the Pack. Leading scorer Robert Lovaglio added 12 in the victory. Daniel Kuhl had a game high four assists.
Spring Hill was led by Robert Gipson. Gipson led the team in scoring with 16, assists with three, and tied with Todd Martin as the team's top rebounder. Martin and Gipson both grabbed six rebounds for the Badgers.
“Very pleased with our effort for 40 minutes, especially with the bench play from Cameron Hill and Alex Matoski,” said Head Coach Dr. Michael Giorlando. “We knew they had a run or two left in them and the team rebounded hard late and hit critical free throws down the stretch.”
Loyola won the game on the strength of a defensive performance that held the Badgers to under 30% shooting while also holding a decisive rebounding edge, 48-32. The Wolf Pack had good ball movement, as they assisted on 16 of their 20 made shots.
With the victory Loyola (14-11, 8-7) sits tied with Auburn-Montgmery for third place in the western division of the SSAC. Spring Hill (4-22, 3-12) is in last place in the division. Mobile is one game back of Loyola in the final playoff spot.
Loyola will be back in action for Senior Day for a 4:00 p.m. tip off on Saturday, February 16th against Faulkner University at The Den.