No. 12 Loyola drops rematch with William Carey despite spirited comeback

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Loyola Wolf Pack men’s basketball team had a slow start Tuesday against the Crusaders, but they came roaring back in the second half to make things interesting in Hattiesburg

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The 12th-ranked Loyola Wolf Pack nearly pulled off a comeback for the ages Tuesday night in Hattiesburg, but the William Carey Crusaders held on to beat the Wolf Pack 90-81.

Loyola is now 10-3 overall and 5-3 in the Southern States Athletic Conference.

The game started as well as William Carey could have hoped, jumping out to a 15-0 lead on the Wolf Pack. Luke Ladner finally got Loyola on the board, but the Crusaders built a 29-9 lead halfway through the first half.

Trailing 31-10 with six minutes left until halftime, Myles Burns scored the next 11 points for Loyola to cut the score to 36-20. Andrew Fava and Matt Maturah both hit 3-pointers to go into the break behind by 13, 40-27.

The two teams started the second half with back and forth play, as Loyola was able to get to within 12 after Zach Wrightsil made a shot three and a half minutes into the half. William Carey did push the lead back to 16 moments later, 53-37, but the Wolf Pack went on a 16-6 run over the next six-plus minutes to make it a 59-53 game.

Zach Muller, Wrightsil and Burns scored most of those points, as Burns tallied six, Wrightsil added five and Muller picked up four. Then Burns scored the next five Wolf Pack points to get to within five points with eight and a half minutes to go.

Muller’s 3-pointer kept the game close, 69-63, with 7:22, and back-to-back buckets from Wrightsil and Burns made it a five-point game, 76-71 with 3:41 remaining. Loyola got to as close as 78-77 at the two-minute mark after Terry Smith Jr. turned a WCU turnover into two points and a steal by Andrew Fava led to a Burns lay-in. William Carey, however, scored the game’s final 12 of 16 points to close out the win.

“William Carey jumped out on us big and started with a large rebounding margin. We didn’t finish around the basket early in the game and William Carey came out playing really well. This game was very similar to our last game here. We dug ourselves a hole but we were able to dig our in the second half. Every time they needed a big shot late in the game, they got it.”

Myles Burns earned a new career-high after scoring 39 points against the Crusaders. His previous career-high of 30 points happened Nov. 2, 2018, in his third collegiate game. He added nine rebounds, too.

Zach Wrightsil’s nine points Tuesday gives him 1,296 for his career, moving him up to 16th all-time in Loyola history.

Tensley Aldridge joined Burns in double figures, scoring 10 points.

Terry Smith Jr. pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Pack.

You can keep up with the Pack by following Wolf Pack Athletics on Facebook at, Twitter and Instagram @LoyolaWolfPack, and by checking out our website at

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