Loyola’s men’s basketball team has won 13 straight games, a program best

Junior Jalen Galloway preps for a shot at an away game against the University Of New Orleans on Saturdat, Nov. 6, 2021. The men’s basketball team is currently 7-0 and ranked second is the National Association of Intercollegiate Athetics.

Loyola’s men’s basketball team attributed their early success this season to chemistry— not the branch of science, but the relationship between a team of athletes and coaches working together to win it all.

The Wolf Pack is only seven weeks into the regular season, but they have already made program history by winning their first 13 games of the year. The team is currently ranked second in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and are the highest-ranked undefeated team with the longest winning streak.

“The record has put a chip on our shoulder for sure, but it also has made us more confident as to what we can do in the future,” said Brandon Davis, a sophomore business management student from LaPlace, Louisiana.

Davis has appeared in all 13 games this season for a total of 349 minutes of play, including 15 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.3 rebounds per game.

The guard earned his first career conference award in early November when he was named the Southern States Athletic Conference’s Player of the Week, and he said he has a good feeling about this year.

“As long as we stay humble and keep working together, we’ll have no problem making it all the way,” Davis said.

Junior mass communication student Josh Tolbert said that the team’s maturity has contributed to their increased efficiency during games.

“It’s an older group of guys that we have out on the court,” Tolbert said. “Most of us have been on the team for two or three years now so we’ve seen and been through it all. We know what works best for us and how to help each other out.”

Earlier this year, when Hurricane Ida made landfall in New Orleans and damaged the University Sports Complex, the team traveled to Dallas, Texas, Tolbert’s home town.

“I loved showing everybody around my city,” Tolbert said. “Yeah we were practicing and working, but we also got a chance to really bond with each other. We treat each other like family.”

Davis, who transferred to Loyola this year from Delgado Community College, said the evacuation experience helped the players build a solid foundation for the game play.

“Our team chemistry off the court really translates on the court. I think that’s what is driving us this season and helping us win,” Davis said.

Head Coach Stacy Hollowell said players are “playing with purpose” and “understand how to win games.” He added that the team is defending hard this season and rebounding at a high rate.

So far this season the Wolf Pack has recorded 14.3 steals and 42.7 rebounds per game. On the offensive side, they’ve had 18.5 assists per game and are shooting 46.1% for an average of 90.2 points a game.

On Dec. 6, Hollowell was named Hoopdirt.com NAIA Coach of the Week. He said that while the team takes pride in their recent wins they’ve already put those games behind them.

“Each next opponent is our toughest game and we will focus on winning one game at a time,” Hollowell said.

The team said they plan to continue their winning streak at their upcoming exhibition games against Southern Mississippi University Dec. 11 and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Dec. 20.