What went down: After upsetting No. 5-ranked University of Florida 65-59 Dec. 6, the Loyola men’s basketball team (10-1) defeated Norfolk State University 80-52.
How it happened: The Ramblers shot a program-record 71.4 percent (25-for-35) from the field against Norfolk State, and were led by sophomore guard Bruno Skokna’s 18 points. Senior guard Donte Ingram added 15 points and first-year center Cameron Krutwig contributed 12 points and eight rebounds in the Dec. 9 home victory.
Analysis: The 71 percent shooting against Norfolk State is the best single-game field goal percentage in Division I this season, topping Murray State University’s 69 percent against Brescia University Nov. 10. Coming into the game, Loyola’s offense ranked sixth in the NCAA in field goal percentage with 52.2 percent.
Skokna had a breakout game against Norfolk State. The Zagreb, Croatia, native shot 4-for-5 from the field and went a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. With redshirt junior guard Clayton Custer down with an ankle injury, Skokna will be one of the many pieces Loyola has to fill the void in the lineup as it’s unclear how long Custer will be out.
Krutwig continued to play well in his first collegiate season. He shot a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line to come away with 12 points. Krutwig has been in the starting lineup since senior guard Ben Richardson suffered a hand injury Nov. 16, and he is averaging 8.1 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game in eight starts.
One of the weak spots for Loyola was turnovers. The Ramblers committed 20 turnovers compared to Norfolk State’s 12. Turnovers have plagued Loyola all season — the team went into the game averaging 13.6 turnovers per game.
Moser’s thoughts: In the postgame press conference, head coach Porter Moser said he felt the team played well coming off the Florida win and said it will now turn its focus to finals.
“When you come off a game like we had against Florida, there were so many trap things that could happen,” Moser said. “I thought we came out and played the right way … you can fall into trap games after that. That’s what I was excited about.”
What’s next? The Ramblers will take a week off for finals before heading to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Dec. 16 to close out the non-conference portion of their schedule.