It was a game that rocked Gentile Arena. Although Loyola’s fan base comes in spurts, more than 2,000 fans were present for the Missouri Valley/Mountain West Conference Showdown, where the Loyola men’s basketball team (7-2) prevailed 65-59 over San Diego State University.
The win against one of the toughest Mountain West teams helped the Ramblers maintain their perfect 5-0 home record.
Junior forward Aundre Jackson had a near-perfect night and finished 11-12 from the field en route to recording his season-high 24 points. Senior guard Milton Doyle and redshirt sophomore guard Clayton Custer didn’t let Jackson have all the fun. Doyle contributed 12 points of his own, and Custer — despite not making any buckets in the first half — came away with 10 points in the second half..
The student section, Band of Wolves and spirit teams proved Loyola held the home-court advantage. The fans controlled the atmosphere in Gentile Arena and helped psych out the Aztecs — most notably during the second half.
“L-U-C”, “Let’s go Ramblers” and defensive chants echoed throughout Gentile Arena.
Even when a 10-point Loyola lead vanished, “The Joe” was still rocking as the fans tried to pull their team back out in front. Jackson’s layup with five minutes left in the second half kicked off a game-winning 12-2 run.
After the game, head coach Porter Moser walked around the arena and thanked the students and band for their support. And during a postgame interview, he had a message for the student body.
“I want to beg the students to come out and see us play,” Moser pleaded. “The students that were there — the band, the dance team, the cheerleaders, the students – you [made] the difference.”
The Ramblers are scheduled to square off against Wright State University on Dec. 7.