(New Orleans, La.) The Loyola University men’s basketball team’s matchup not only marked the end of the regular season but also presented the team with the opportunity to extend its win streak to a season-high seven games.
The last time the Wolf Pack met the Toppers on the hardwood, Loyola had its heart broken on a game-winning jumper in the final seconds. The Wolf Pack would redeem themselves on Saturday using four players in double figures to grab a convincing 72-51 win over Blue Mountain.
With the victory, the team finishes the regular season at 21-8 overall and 14-6 in conference play. Loyola’s 21 wins thus far are the most by a Wolf Pack men’s basketball team since the 1947-48 season. Following its win over No. 17 William Carey on Thursday, this year’s Loyola team became just the sixth squad in Wolf Pack men’s basketball history to reach the 20-win plateau.
Loyola Head coach Stacy Hollowell gave his thoughts on the regular season following the men’s monumental victory.
“At the beginning of the season our guys set a goal to make the national tournament. We hit a few bumps in the road along the way but our guys persevered and have built some momentum going into the conference tournament. We still have some work ahead of us to reach our goal,” Hollowell said.
The game being knotted at 2-2 in the early going would be the closest the game would be for the home team.
Neither team scored from the field over the next two minutes until a three-pointer by Tre’Von Jasmine gave the Wolf Pack the 5-2 lead at the 15 minute mark of the first half.
Jasmine answered back with another three to put the team on top 8-4 over the next two minutes of the opening frame.
The Wolf Pack took a nine point lead off of a layup by Griffin Jr. to bring the score to 24-15 with just over five minutes to play in the first half.
Two free throws by Griffin Jr. put the road team on top 33-22 to close out the first 20 minutes of play.
Loyola shot 11-of-22 (50%) from the field and 4-of-7 (57%) from beyond the arc. The Wolf Pack also had a 21-14 advantage on the glass heading into the locker room.
Loyola led by as many as 23 before two free throws by Eric Brown gave Loyola the 72-51 win over the Blue Mountain Toppers.
The men’s squad shot 52.1% (25-of-48) from the field and 47.1% (8-of-17) from the three-point line.
Griffin Jr. led four players in double figures with 13 points and seven rebounds. Jasmine and Jalen Gray added 11 points apiece and Nick Parker chipped in 10 points in the team’s final game of the regular season.
The Wolf Pack earned the No. 4 seed in the SSAC Championship and will face off against No. 5-seed Faulkner University on March 2nd at 9:45 p.m.