Tornadoes comeback bid falls short, falls to Loyola U New Orleans, 65-61

Courtesy of Talladega College Athletics

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TALLADEG22 39 61
LOYOLA35 30 65

NEW ORLEANS – In the first meeting since last season’s NAIA National Championship game, the Talladega College men’s basketball team could not finish a rally to defeat the Loyola University New Orleans Wolf Pack. The Tornadoes fell 65-61 Saturday night in Southern States Athletic Conference action.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak Dega as the squad fell to 8-8 on the season and 2-6 in the SSAC. Loyola improved to 13-2 overall, 8-0 in SSAC play, and it was also the program’s 21st straight victory at home.
The win did not come easy for the Wolf Pack as the team saw a 13-point lead evaporate during the second half. 
Trailing 35-22 entering the second half, Dega fell behind even further following a bucket from Zach Muller to put the Wolf Pack up 37-22. However, this is where the comeback started for the Tornadoes as the team produced a 25-10 run in about 10 minutes of game action to tie the game at 47-47 after a three from Javon Tatum and a pair of free throws by Ethelbert Anum
Loyola controlled the final six minutes of game action as Milan Mejia connected on a three-pointer to give the Wolf Pack the last lead change of the game and put the team up 50-47 with 5:54 to go.
Dega brought the lead within three on two occasions in the final minutes, but Loyola kept the Tornadoes from closing the gap any further on the way to the four-point, 65-61 final tally.
The Wolf Pack started making their first nine of 11 shots from the floor and built an early 21-6 lead by the first media timeout. Jalen Galloway and Muller extended the lead to 30-16, and Dominic Brown scored on back-to-back possessions to help bring the score to 35-22 at the half. It wasn’t until the nine-minute mark when Talladega finally crossed into double figures as it cut Loyola’s advantage to 10, 26-16, with just over five minutes until halftime.
Anum turned in an outstanding performance for Dega with 22 points, nine rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal. Keshawn Peguesposted 14 points, nine rebounds, three steals, a block and an assist. Tatum rounded out the double-figure scorers with 12 points, four steals, three assists and a rebound. 
Talladega shot 42.1 percent (24-of-57) from the floor, 15.8 percent (3-of-19) from beyond the arc, and 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from the free throw line. 
Michael Harden led Loyola in scoring with 18 points, dished out a game-high seven assists, and nabbed two steals. Jalen Galloway finished with 15 points and four rebounds, while Mejia had 13 points, four rebounds and two steals. 
The Wolf Pack finished the game 54.3 percent (25-of-46) overall, 38.1 percent (8-of-21) from three, and 46.7 percent (7-of-15) at the line.
Talladega College will have the week off before preparing for SSAC action against Dalton State College. Tip-off in the Dr. Billy C. Hawkins Student Activity Center is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Next Game:
Dalton State College
1/14/2023 | 2:00 PM

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