The Loyola men’s basketball team (16-4, 6-2) moved into a tie for first place in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) standings with Drake University following a 70-54 victory over Valparaiso University Jan. 21. This marks the first time Loyola has had a share of first place through eight games since joining the MVC in 2013.
The team’s 16-4 record is its best through 20 games since starting 18-2 in the 1965-66 season, in which it went to the NCAA tournament. Loyola has made the big dance the last two times Loyola won 16 of its first 20 games (1963 and 1966). Senior forward Donte Ingram and first-year center Cameron Krutwig earned MVC Player and Newcomer of the Week awards Jan. 22. In two games, Ingram averaged 18 ppg, seven rpg, 1.5 apg and 1.5 stpg and shot 57.1 percent from the field to earn his second MVC Player of the Week honor. Ingram is now averaging 11.9 ppg and 6.6 rpg on the season.
Krutwig averaged 14 ppg and eight rpg in two games and shot 63 percent. The Algonquin native is averaging 9.6 ppg and 6.4 rpg in his rookie season and is making a case for MVC Freshman of the Year.
The Ramblers are scheduled to travel to Drake University Jan. 24 to battle for sole possession of first place. Drake is led by senior guard Reed Timmer, whose 18.5 ppg ranks second in the MVC. Timmer scored 25 points as Drake defeated Missouri State University 61-58 Jan. 20. The Bulldogs held Missouri State forward Alize Johnson to two points via free throws.
If the Ramblers beat Drake, it would give them a six-game winning streak, their longest conference winning streak since winning six consecutive games as a member of the Horizon League in 2006-07. Loyola is scheduled to take on the University of Northern Iowa at Gentile Arena Jan. 28.