In its worst offensive performance of the season so far, the Loyola men’s basketball team (5-5) fell to No. 23 University of Maryland 55-41 at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore Saturday afternoon. The Ramblers have now lost four of their last five games.
The Ramblers posted a season-low 32 percent shooting percentage and went 2-for-15 from three-point range, continuing a trend of poor shooting. They also committed 19 turnovers while only dishing out five assists.
One bright spot for Loyola was sophomore center Cameron Krutwig, who turned in another solid performance with 12 points and eight rebounds, marking the fifth time he’s led the team in scoring this season.
The Terrapins, who were ranked No. 23 in the country, moved to 8-2 on the season with the victory. Maryland finished 8-10 in Big 10 Conference play last season and were picked to finish eighth out of 14 teams this year.
Loyola — the Missouri Valley Conference preseason favorite — saw its record fall to 5-5 with the loss. Last year, the Ramblers went 32-6 overall en route to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1985 and their first Final Four berth since 1963.
The first half saw the Ramblers get off to a fast start, shaking a season-long trend of playing from behind. Loyola held a lead for the majority of the first 20 minutes, before a late 9-0 surge from the Terrapins gave them an 18-14 lead with 4:46 left in the half. Maryland took a 24-20 lead into halftime despite shooting just 34.6 percent from the field at that point.
The Ramblers’ offense continued to struggle after the break. Loyola shot 26.7 shooting percent from the field in the second half and experienced an over seven-minute field-goal drought, which was finally ended by a layup by redshirt sophomore Aher Uguak’s to cut the Terrapins’ lead to 33-27 with 10:55 remaining. Maryland, meanwhile, shot 57.1 percent after halftime — including 44.4 percent from three-point territory.
Down the stretch, the Ramblers were unable to overcome their shooting woes and trailed by as many as 17 points. Despite closing the gap to as little as 11, they were never able to get within single digits and eventually lost the game 55-41.
The Ramblers are next scheduled to take on Norfolk State University at Gentile Arena Dec. 16.