No. 2 Loyola now 11-0 for first time in program history after Tuesday’s win over Dillard
NEW ORLEANS – Eleven up, eleven down.
That’s been the story so far this season for the Loyola Wolf Pack men’s basketball team. They’ve played 11 games – 12 if the exhibition win over NCAA Division I New Orleans counts – and they’ve won them all. After starting the season 10-0 for the second time in three years, a program-tying record, Loyola made history Tuesday night with a 95-62 win over crosstown rival Dillard for its 11th straight victory.
The No. 2 Wolf Pack will now quickly turn their attention back to Southern States Athletic Conference play, traveling to William Carey (4-3, 1-1) Thursday night. Loyola (2-0 in the SSAC) and the Crusaders will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Loyola started Tuesday’s contest with back-to-back 3-pointers by Andrew Fava and Brandon Davis, the latter came quickly after a Myles Burns steal. Another 3 by Davis moments later put the Pack up 9-3 less than two minutes into the contest. Dillard, however, fought back to take the lead 17-16, but a Josh Leaney bucket put Loyola back in the lead at the 10:47 mark of the first half.
The two teams combined for only two field goals over the next five game minutes, but a Burns dunk stopped the drought to give Loyola a 22-20 advantage with 5:37 left. After the Bleu Devils cut the score to 24-23, Burns finished with a one-handed dunk and made a mid-range jumper to extend it to a five-point lead, 28-23, with three-plus minutes to go. Scores by Cameron Dumas and Burns helped the Pack take a 31-27 lead into the locker room.
After missing most of the first half with two fouls, Davis started the second half with a 3 in the 30 seconds, and that was followed by three straight scores by Zach Wrightsil to make it a 13-point game two and a half minutes into the second half. After Dillard cut it to seven, the duo of Burns and Davis came through again for Loyola, as Burns grabbed an offensive rebound and scored while Davis made his fourth 3-pointer of the game, 47-35.
Loyola stayed ahead, 59-48, midway through the second half thanks to two 3s and two technical foul free throws by Fava. The 3s kept falling for Loyola, too, with Dumas, Davis and Fava each draining one to keep it a double-digit lead on the scoreboard, 70-55, with six minutes to play. Seconds later, Burns brought the house down with an alley-oop to put Loyola up 17.
Burns capped off his impressive night by receiving an assist from Dumas and throwing down a windmill dunk.
Tuesday’s win was the fifth straight over Dillard. Loyola last lost to the Bleu Devils in October 2018.
Myles Burns put on a show with 27 points, 19 rebounds, seven steals, and five assists. The points, rebounds, and steals were all season bests, and the rebounds were also a career high.
Burns leads the Wolf Pack with three double-doubles this season so far. He now has 38 for his career
The senior also moved up three spots in the record book. With 1,421 career points, Burns is now 12th on Loyola’s all-time scoring list.
As a team, Loyola hit 13 three-pointers, mainly because of Andrew Fava and Brandon Davis, who knocked down five triples each.
The Wolf Pack have made 10 or more three-pointers in seven of the 11 games this season. They had seven such games all of last season.
Averaging the most steals in the country at 14.5 per game, Loyola stole the ball 14 times Tuesday night. The team has had double-digit steals in all but one game this season.
Reigning SSAC Player of the Week Zach Wrightsil finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. He now has 383 assists for his career, giving him sole possession of third on Loyola’s all-time assists list.
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