It was a tale of two halves for the Loyola men’s basketball team (4-1) as it knocked off University of Richmond 82-66 at the Fort Myers Tip-Off tournament Monday night in Fort Myers, Florida.
The Ramblers trailed 36-33 at halftime, but roared back to outscore the Spiders 49-33 in the second half to complete the comeback. Loyola shot 71.4 percent in the second half — including 19 of its last 23 shots — and 50 percent in the first half to finish 62 percent for the game.
Loyola’s first-half struggles were partly due to 12 turnovers. Head coach Porter Moser has said the team’s goal is less than 10 turnovers and more than 15 assists per game. The Ramblers committed five turnovers after the break to finish with 17 for the game, while also dishing out 10 assists against Richmond.
Four Ramblers scored in double-digit points for the third straight game, led by sophomore guard Lucas Williamson’s career-high 23 points. Redshirt senior guard Marques Townes chipped in 15 points, redshirt senior guard Clayton Custer had 13 and first-year guard Isaiah Bujdoso had 11 points.
Sophomore center Cameron Krutwig — who was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week Nov. 19 — nearly picked up a double-double, scoring nine points and grabbing eight rebounds.
“I thought we spaced it so much better in the second half and we also took care of the ball better,” Loyola head coach Porter Moser said in a statement. “Lucas [Williamson] came out and really got us going in the second half.”
Coming into the game, Richmond ranked 69th out of the 353 Division I teams in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), which used to be the main source of the NCAA Tournament selection committee’s decisions for at-large bids, and Loyola ranked 140th, according to teamrankings.com. Later this year, the NCAA is set to roll out the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET), which uses predictive metrics and will replace the RPI come Selection Sunday. The first NET rankings are expected to come out in late November or early December, according to ESPN.
The Ramblers are next scheduled to take on Boston College Nov. 21 in Fort Myers. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CDT.