No. 12 Dons win their second straight in Atlanta

No. 12 Loyola won for the second straight day at the St. Pius X Christmas Classic in Atlanta, Friday evening, defeating Canisius Jesuit (NY), 66-56, in the semifinals.

Loyola took a three-point lead at the half and then outscored Canisius 19-2 at the start of the third quarter to seize control. The Crusaders responded with seven second half three-pointers to pull within eight, but the Dons (10-6) closed it out down the stretch with clutch free throw shooting.

Loyola went to the line 43 times in this physical battle and converted 31 times, accounting for nearly half of the Dons’ points.

Sophomore Cam Smith paced the effort with 14 points, while Tyrllian Young added 13, Matt Fischer scored 11 and Dubem Nnake contributed 10 points and eight rebounds.

The Dons will play either host St. Pius X or Jesuit (FL) in Saturday evening’s championship game at 7:00 p.m.