by Hunter Dawkins
There were a few different storylines in the last non-conference matchup for the Southern Miss (USM) Golden Eagles in Monday afternoon’s game against the Loyola University-New Orleans Wolfpack. Fortunately, USM outscored the Wolfpack in the second half by a decent margin to win 74-54.
The Golden Eagles Second Year Head Basketball Coach and former Pass Christian resident Jay Ladner took on his son; Luke Ladner, St. Stanislaus Alum and Wolfpack Guard for the first time.
Despite knocking down a three-point basket in the early first half in front of his father, Luke settled the emotions with composure.
“With all my heart, I wanted to turn around and look at him,” the younger Ladner said. “But then I thought about the next time I’d come to Hattiesburg and seeing his reaction.”
“It’s a very odd experience,” expressed Southern Miss Head Coach Ladner. “We wanted a very challenging opponent after the break, and they provided the best opportunity of it. I don’t like the emotions because it’s a conflict in that you’re trying to beat them, but I’m one of Loyola’s biggest fans.”
With all of the emotions in check, USM took a 35-27 lead at the half and outscored Loyola 39-27 in the second half for their final non-conference victory.
On another note, USM Guard LaDavius Draine reached the 1,000-point milestone in an explosive way, scoring on three-straight possessions in the second half as Southern Miss defeated Loyola New Orleans, 74-54, on Monday afternoon.