Chicago

Ramblers open conference play with a win: 3 Observations

Chicago

The Loyola Ramblers began their Missouri Valley Conference title defense Wednesday night in Gentile Arena with a resounding 88-76 win over the Indiana State Sycamores. The game had a somewhat bittersweet feeling to it, as it marked the beginning of the final season of basketball in the MVC for Loyola, as they will depart for the Atlantic 10 come season’s end. Here are three observations from the win:

Ramblers saved from slow first half start

The Ramblers made it to the end of the half with a one point lead after a three pointer from junior Braden Norris in the final seconds. This would be the spark they needed, as they would not look back in the second half. Graduate student Lucas Williamson hit four three-pointers en route to his team leading 20 points. Right behind him was junior Marquise Kennedy with 16 of his own.

Rambler defense blocks Sycamore attempt at comebacks

The Ramblers defense shined yet again in Wednesday’s contest. The team forced a total of 14 turnovers and converted them into 20 points. What powered the team in the paint was their blocks, with both Williamson and graduate student Aher Uguak with three each. This limited the Sycamores opportunities and kept the momentum in the Ramblers corner. 

Free throws keep Ramblers in the game

In an otherwise gritty game, what kept the Ramblers afloat was their ability to cash in on free throws. Leading the way was Kennedy, with 8 free throws. Also contributing were Uguak with 5 and Williamson with 4. The Ramblers made 26 total charity shots at a 83.9 percent clip.

The team will aim to take this success to Wintrust Arena on Saturday, as they play city rival Depaul at 3 PM.