Men’s basketball start 2014-15 season with exhibition win

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Sophomore guard Jonathan Stark finishes at the rim in the 87-43 exhibition victory against Loyola New Orleans Wednesday. Stark finished with 4 points and 2 steals.

Mackenna Barker, Associate Sports Editor

Tulane men’s basketball defeated Loyola 87-43 in an exhibition game at Devlin Fieldhouse Wednesday night, with five players scoring in the double digits.

Defensively, the Green Wave had an all around strong performance. The Wave held Loyola to 26.3 percent shooting from the floor and forced 19 turnovers. Offensively, however, Tulane is still a work in progress.

The Wave shot 14 for 37 overall and 4 for 13 3-pointers in the first half. Tulane picked up momentum in the second half and extended its lead to 20 points within the first seven minutes.

In the final seven minutes of the game, Tulane went on a 19-0 run, highlighted by a dunk from sophomore guard Cameron Reynolds and a 3-pointer by freshman guard Riley Conroy, coach Ed Conroy’s son.

Senior forward Tre Drye had a rough night offensively, as he recorded just 1 point and shot 0 for 3 from the field. Junior guard Louis Dabney, the scoring leader from last season, led the team with 15 points and was among the five players that scored in the double digits. Senior guard Jay Hook and sophomore forward Payton Henson each scored 11 points.

Redshirt sophomore Kajon Mack, returning to the court following a year off due to injury, had a strong game with 14 points. Mack also tied sophomore guard Jonathan Stark with 8 rebounds, the team high.

Dabney said the exhibition performance showed how effective a deeper Green Wave team has the potential to be.

“The sophomores are a big part of this team and with them playing the way they are, we’re a totally different team,” Dabney said. “We can be a deep team because everybody can go hard for longer during the game and know that they have a sub that’s going to come in and do the same thing. That’s a big part of this team in moving forward.”

Head coach Ed Conroy used the exhibition night as an opportunity to experiment with lineups, tinkering with several different player combinations throughout the game.

“It was great to see a number of guys,” Conroy said. “We’re still trying to make decisions on rotations and who plays well together because we are a deeper team this year but exactly who can be effective as a unit out there is something we’re still trying to figure out.”

Tulane opens up its regular season against Wake Forest 7 p.m. Monday at Devlin Fieldhouse.