More than 200 days since its Final Four loss to University of Michigan March 31, the Loyola men’s basketball team defeated Division II school Winona State University 82-52 at Gentile Arena in the Ramblers’ lone exhibition game of the season Tuesday night.
“[The score] was 2-2 about six minutes in, and there was no panic except very vocal leadership about continuing to defend,” Moser said. “That’s what I heard … everything was about continuing to defend, and then our offense started clicking.”
The Ramblers were in control throughout the game, shooting at a 53.1 percent clip. Redshirt senior guard Clayton Custer led the team in scoring with 16 points.
Redshirt sophomore Aher Uguak had five points with a team-high eight rebounds in his first game since transferring from University of New Mexico. Uguak had to sit out last season, per NCAA transfer rules.
First-year guard Cooper Kaifes had 12 points, going 4-for-5 from the three-point line in his first collegiate game.
“[Kaifes] knows he can make shots,” Moser said. “He’s got a quick trigger, he’s very tough, he’s got tremendous range [and] he’s strong as a [first-year]. We love that about him.”
Guard Isaiah Bujdoso and center Franklin Agunanne also played their first collegiate game in the victory. Bujdoso finished with two points, one rebound and four assists, while Agunanne had six points and five rebounds.
Moser said the first-years’ success means his team has more contributors than the starting five, which could be key once the regular season gets started.
“I loved [Bujdoso’s] second half,” Moser said. “He can be a really nasty defender, and I mean that in a positive way, because he’s got such long arms … we’ve got a ways to go with [the first-years], but I think we’ve got some depth.”
Loyola is scheduled to open the regular season Nov. 6 against University of Missouri-Kansas City at Gentile Arena. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.