NEW ORLEANS — The Loyola University New Orleans men’s basketball team won its 25th straight game against Southern States Athletic Conference competition on Saturday, defeating Talladega College 65-61 in The Den. The Wolf Pack improved their record to 13-2 overall and 8-0 in SSAC play with the win, and it was also the program’s 21st straight victory at home.  

They’ll next turn their attention to another league foe on Thursday, hosting Blue Mountain Christian at 7:30 p.m. in The Den.  

The Wolf Pack started the game extremely hot, making their first nine of 11 shots from the floor, including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc, to help build an early 21-6 lead by the first media timeout. Milan Mejia started the early run with a 3-pointer in the first 20 seconds of the game, then Michael Harden got hot with 13 points during that stretch. Jalen Galloway also had five points, the fifth, which was a 3-pointer, put the Pack ahead 12-6 four minutes into the contest. Harden then scored four straight without missing, also picking up a steal in the process, his latter made shot ending Loyola’s run at the 12:13 mark of the first half. 

Talladega finally got to double figures at the nine-minute mark, as it cut Loyola’s lead to 10, 26-16, with five-plus minutes until halftime. Galloway and Zach Muller extended the lead to 30-16 at the second media timeout, and Dominic Brown scored on back-to-back possessions to help bring the score to 35-22 by the break. 

After Muller scored the first points of the second half, the Tornadoes used a 13-3 run in a five-minute span to trim the Pack’s lead to 40-35 with less than 12 minutes in the game. Bradley Alcime and Brown tried to quell Talladega’s run, 45-37, but the visitors eventually tied the game at 47-all with six minutes left in the game.  

Mejia answered with a 3-pointer from the corner, then a five-second violation for Talladega set up another made shot from long range for the Baton Rouge native, 53-47. Talladega tried to even the game after that, but five points from Galloway and a layup from Harden kept Loyola ahead 61-53 at the one-minute mark. From there, Loyola made four free throws in the final 60 seconds to close the door on the win. 

Pack Facts:

  • Loyola is now 13-1 in its all-time series with Talladega and on a seven-game win streak against the Tornadoes, with the last loss coming in 2002. 
  • Atop the standings in the SSAC, the Wolf Pack hold the only unbeaten conference record at 8-0. Every other team in the conference has at least three losses. 
  • Michael Harden led the team in scoring with 18 points, only missing one shot from the field at 7-for-8, 88%. 
  • Harden also dished out a game-high seven assists and nabbed two steals. 
  • Jalen Galloway scored seven points in the first half and eight in the second to finish with 15 points, four rebounds.
  • Milan Mejia, who had just four points in the first half, poured in nine more in the second. He had 13 points behind a 4-for-8 shooting day from long range, also contributing four rebounds and two steals. 
  • Dominic Brown came off the bench for seven points in just five minutes of action. 

{Courtesy: Loyola Athletics}