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Loyola at a Glance

Wolfpack men hold off Gold Rush 61-53

February 6, 2009

Loyola withstood a late Xavier run en route to the Wolfpack’s 61-53 win Wednesday night at The Den. It was Loyola’s first win over the Gold Rush in The Den in the program’s history.

The Wolfpack defense took charge of the first half, holding the Gold Rush to only 17 points and 28 percent shooting in the game’s first 20 minutes. Sean Bennett’s 11 points in the period helped Loyola take a 28-17 lead into the break.

Loyola attained their largest lead of the game early in the second half when a Torry Beaulieu jumper made the score 39-21 Wolfpack with 14:45 to go.

With the Wolfpack sporting a 49-33 lead with 7:45 left in the game, Xavier went on a 12-0 run. A Shaun Dumas basket made it 49-45 with just under three minutes to play.

After Cameron Cates converted a three-point play on Loyola’s ensuing possession, the Wolfpack used the free throw line to keep the Gold Rush from threatening again as Loyola hit 10 of 15 from the charity stripe inside the last three minutes of the contest.

“Tonight was a strong defensive effort against a high-powered Xavier team. We knew we were going to have to grind it out. It was a team win with Ryan, Cameron and Torry hitting free throws in the last couple minutes to seal the win. We’ll enjoy tonight and then get ready for Mobile on Saturday,” said Loyola head coach Michael Giorlando.

Ryan Brock led the Wolfpack offensively with 17 points. Sean Bennett finished with 16 points. Defensively, Darrinton Moncrieffe swatted away three Gold Rush shots.

The Wolfpack (14-7, 7-3 GCAC) hit 40.4 percent from the field (19 of 47). Loyola converted 19 of 27 from the free throw line (70.4 percent), including the 10 that helped seal the win.

With the conference playing tomorrow night, the Wolfpack currently sit a half-game behind conference leading LSU-Shreveport. The win avenged a 66-48 loss to the Gold Rush on Jan. 29 at The Barn.

Shaun Dumas and Kelechi Okoroha each took game high honors for the Gold Rush with 17 points as the only two Xavier players with double-digits in scoring. The Gold Rush (14-8, 6-4 GCAC) came back from the bad first half to finish the game shooting at 39.2 percent (20 of 51).

The Wolfpack start a three-game road trip Saturday night as Loyola travels to take on the Mobile Rams. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. at Pharr Gymnasium.

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