Saturday, December 17, 2016

Wolf Pack win 72-53 to complete season sweep of Rush

NEW ORLEANS — Johnny Griffin, one of four Loyola double-figure scorers, produced 15 of his 21 points in the second half Friday in the Wolf Pack's 72-53 men's basketball victory against Xavier University of Louisiana at Loyola's First NBC Court.

The Wolf Pack (9-2), ranked 22nd in NAIA Division I, won for the seventh consecutive time and completed a two-game season sweep of the Gold Rush (3-6).

Griffin missed his first four attempts from the floor, then went 8-of-9 in the final 26 minutes. He grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots.

Eric Brown scored 14 points for Loyola, and Nick Parker and Ethan Turner had 13 apiece. Brown made four 3-pointers, and Turner made three.

Freshman guard Donovan Armstrong scored 12 points for XULA. Armstrong made 6-of-8 from the floor and reached double figures for the second consecutive game. Jalen David and Lucas Martin-Julien scored seven points apiece for the Gold Rush, and Leland Alexander grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.

Wesley Pluviose-Philip (two points, three rebounds) and Elex Carter (four points, one rebound, one block) made their season debuts in this game, and freshmen Monte Lambert (six points, two rebounds, one block, one steal) and Khalil McCoy (one point) made their XULA debuts. Pluviose-Philip, Lambert and McCoy missed the first eight games because of injuries.

Loyola outshot the Gold Rush 45.1 to 40.7 percent from the floor and had a 37-32 rebound advantage. XULA's one made 3-pointer, eight made free throws and three assists were season lows.

"Loyola competed at a high level for 40 minutes, and we did not," XULA coach Alfred Williams said.

In the teams' other meeting this season, Loyola won 78-76 at XULA on a basket in the final 30 seconds.

XULA is 0-4 this season against ranked opponents. The Gold Rush will play NAIA No. 6 Carroll (Mont.) at 7 p.m. Monday at XULA's Convocation Center.


Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

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