Griffin Jr. and Gray power No. 22 Loyola to 69-64 win over Southern University

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(New Orleans, La.) The No. 22 Loyola Wolf Pack men’s basketball team continued their road trip on Saturday with a weekend exhibition matchup against the NCAA DI Southern University Jaguars.

Behind Johnny Griffin Jr.’s 15 and 18 rebounds and Jalen Gray’s season-high 19 points, the Wolf Pack powered past the Southern University Jaguars 69-64.

Southern rattled off five quick points in the first minute of the game to take the early lead at 5-0. Loyola got two points from the foul line from Jalen Gray but the team trailed the Jaguars until the 12:25 mark of the first half. A three pointer by Eric Brown gave the Wolf Pack the lead (11-9).

It was the Jaguars who would have to play from behind, as the road team would hold on to the lead over the next seven minutes. A free throw by Southern’s Christopher Thomas put the home team on top 26-25 with 5:33 remaining.

Both teams were knotted at 36 until a three pointer by Trelun Banks with four seconds remaining in the first half put the Jaguars on top 39-36.

The Wolf Pack shot 51 percent (14-of-27) from the field in the first half but were outrebounded 21 to 14 on the glass. Griffin Jr. led his team with nine points and eight rebounds at intermission.

Loyola trailed Southern for much of the second half, until an 11-0 run put the Wolf Pack on top 57-54 with 7:02 to go in the contest.

The score was even at 60 with 3:05 left in the game. A layup by Griffin Jr. put the Wolf Pack on top 62-60.

Free throws by Nick Parker would ice the game down the stretch for the visiting squad, en route to a 69-64 victory over the Jaguars.

The Wolf Pack dominated the glass in the second half, winning the rebound battle 22-14 in the second half. The team also shot 52 percent (26-of-50) from the floor and 60 percent (12-of-20) from the charity stripe.

Griffin Jr. had a dominant performance for the Loyola, tallying 15 points and 18 boards in the victory. Gray had scored 15 of his season-high 19 points after halftime. Nate Pierre added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Wolf Pack.

Loyola will return to First NBC Court on Friday, Dec. 16 for a rematch against crosstown rival Xavier University. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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