The Loyola Ramblers returned to the court for the first time in twenty-six days as they faced off against the San Francisco Dons in an epic battle between mid-major programs on Thursday afternoon.
Loyola battled the whole game and overcame USF 79-74 to take its long awaited first victory of 2022. Here are three observations from the win:
Shaking off the rust
The Ramblers came out firing on all cylinders after the long layoff and shook off the rust almost immediately. The team feasted from the field with multiple players contributing to a 51.9 team field goal percentage.
Senior Ryan Schwieger put the team on his back with a career high 24 points, his third time scoring over 20 points this season. Also contributing was sophomore Jacob Hutson with 13 points and graduate student Aher Uguak with 10 of his own.
A tale of two halves
The Ramblers trailed by just one point at the end of a very close first half. Led by a 64% field goal clip, the Ramblers out-scored the Dons 41-35. The Ramblers took the lead in the early stages of the second half and did not look back, leading for sixteen minutes. While the team struggled in the first half in three point shooting, they were able to find more consistency from beyond the arc while also limiting San Francisco to a 3-point percentage of 24%.
Better on the backboard
The Ramblers shined in the paint by out rebounding the Dons by a total of 33-28 with 24 defensive rebounds. Graduate student Lucas Williamson and junior Marquise Kennedy led the team with 8 rebounds each. It was a true team effort as eight different players recorded a rebound in the game.
The Ramblers will look to ride the momentum as they face conference opponent Bradley on Saturday at 3 pm on NBC Sports Chicago.