No. 1 Loyola battles back to edge Mobile, remain undefeated
The top-ranked Wolf Pack moved to 15-0 overall and 4-0 in Southern States Athletic Conference play with Monday’s win over Mobile.
NEW ORLEANS – The No. 1 Loyola Wolf Pack experienced a first during their 15th game of the season Monday against the Mobile Rams, falling behind by 11 after 20 minutes of play. Loyola, though, battled back to claim a 77-75 victory over its Southern States Athletic Conference rival, improving its record to 15-0 and 4-0 in league play.
The Wolf Pack is set to play two more conference games this week, traveling to Dalton State Thursday and No. 3 Talladega Saturday.
The Rams came out of the gates hot, taking a 17-10 lead through the first 10 minutes of play. A 3-pointer by Josh Leaney and free throws by Zach Wrightsil and Zach Muller during that stretch helped the Pack stay close. Mobile, however, built its biggest lead of the game, 27-10, using a 13-0 run to grab control of the first half.
Myles Burns and Zach Wrightsil led the team with six points each at halftime, as Loyola trailed 40-29 at the break.
Mobile held a double-digit lead for the first six minutes of the second half, but the Wolf Pack began to make their run when a pair of free throws by Brandon Davis cut the score to 54-46 at the 13:59 mark. Davis scored again moments later to make it a six-point ballgame, then back-to-back scores by Wrightsil cut the Mobile lead to 56-52. Davis, who scored 13 of his 22 points from the charity stripe, sank two more free throws to make it a two-point deficit, 58-56, with 10 minutes left on the clock.
Muller tied the game 30 seconds later before a two-plus-minute scoring lull ended with Burns pulling down an offensive rebound and scoring to give Loyola its first lead of the game, 60-58, with 7:45 to go. Thanks to four free throws by Davis, the two teams traded the lead a few times before Wrightsil gave Loyola the lead for good, 68-66, with 4:45 on the clock. Burns scored after another offensive rebound, then the senior, who was named the SSAC Player of the Week earlier in the afternoon, turned a steal into a score to push Loyola’s lead to 72-66 in the final three and a half minutes.
Four more free throws by Davis and a 3-pointer from Mobile set up an exciting final 30 seconds, as the Rams’ final shot was too long to give Loyola the win.
Brandon Davis led the way in scoring with 22 points, with 13 points coming at the free-throw line. Davis also registered five rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
Named SSAC Player of the Week after recording a double-double in yesterday’s contest, Myles Burns finished with 20 points and seven rebounds. Burns also tied a season-high with seven steals.
Zach Wrightsil was the third Wolf Pack player in double figures, scoring 16 points to go along with eight rebounds and two blocks.
Loyola stole the ball 12 times. It’s the 11th consecutive game in which the Pack recorded double-digit steals.
The Wolf Pack outscored Mobile 48-35 in the second half. It was the second-highest scoring half for Loyola in conference play, as the Pack opened SSAC play with a 54-point half against Middle Georgia.
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