ALEXANDRIA—Jordan Adebutu scored 20 points, but Loyola (NO) finished strong, as LSUA men’s basketball fell 101-93 at The Fort on Monday evening.
Following a Joe Lewis layup that tied the game at 88, the Generals (1-2) were outscored 13-2 in a two minute span late in the contest that sealed it.
In that stretch, LSUA had seven straight scoreless trips to help the Wolfpack capture and build a lead.
In a hard-fought contest, Florida transfer Andrew Fava poured in 25 on 8-of-16 shooting, including 6-of-12 from deep to lead the Wolfpack (2-0) to the win. He scored 17 of the 25 after halftime to turn around a 3-point deficit at the break to an 8-point win.
It is the first win in the series for Loyola.
“That was March-type basketball game in November,” LSUA Men’s Basketball Head Coach Larry Cordaro said. “We knew it was going to be a dogfight. Credit Loyola for coming out of this thing alive. Playing a team like this will help us moving forward.
After receiving the Red River Athletic Conference Player of the Week award, Adebutu had another efficient night as an encore. He scored his 20 on just 6-of-8 shooting, which included burying four triples.
Loyola jumped out to a big lead to start, scoring the game’s first seven points and jumped out to an 11-point lead on three occasions in the first half.
Back-to-back field goals by Jevon Berry with four minutes to play in the first tied the contest for the first time since it was 0-0. Three free throws at the end of the half sent LSUA into the locker room with a 49-46 advantage.
In a tight second half, neither team could pull away. Loyola briefly held a nine-point lead after a Fava triple, but the Generals responded with an 11-2 run to tie the game at 88.
Loyola made 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to preserve the victory. As a team, the Wolfpack made 15-of-18 in the second half.
LSUA shot 45.9 percent from the field, compared to 48.6 percent for Loyola. The Wolfpack outrebounded the Generals 48-37, including grabbing 17 offensive boards.
Senior guard Brandon Ellis filled up the stat sheet, scoring 17 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out eight assists. But most importantly to Cordaro, zero turnovers.
“I am most proud of the eight assists and no turnovers,” Cordaro said. He’s a competitor. Loyola threw some different defenses at us and we weren’t quite prepared for, but Brandon played well.”
Terry Smith, Jr. recorded a double-double for Loyola, scoring 17 points and grabbing a game-high 13 boards.
“The season is not over by any means,” Cordaro said. “We’re going to take this loss personally and all we can do is improve. I told our guys that losing itches. Having a losing record at any point in the season is not something we are used to.”
Next up for the Generals is a trip to Dallas to take on UNT Dallas, led by former NBA All-Star Josh Howard, on Thursday at 5 p.m.