The Loyola women’s basketball team took down University of St. Francis 71-27 in an exhibition game at Gentile Arena Tuesday night.
The Ramblers finished last season with a 13-18 record in the Missouri Valley Conference and St. Francis finished 17-3 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Southern Division. However, St. Francis is an NCAA Division III team while Loyola is Division I.
Four Loyola first-years — Anna Brown, Jala Johnson, Sam Galanopoulos and Jordan Moser — made their debuts, with guard Anna Brown leading them with nine points. Junior guard Abby O’Connor led the team in points with 15.
Ramblers head coach Kate Achter said so far, the newcomers have been living up to her expectations. Forward Julia Hoefling was the only one to not play, and Achter said she is out with a small ankle injury but should be back soon.
“Anna is a shooter, we recruited her to do so,” Achter said. “Johnson is an explosive guard … [Galanopoulos], you saw some flashes of what she can do … and really happy to get [Moser] some minutes too.”
Loyola started off with a shot by sophomore forward Allison Day, then took a seven-point lead in the first two minutes. After a scoreless two minutes, the teams scored back and forth to finish the quarter 19-6 for Loyola.
O’Connor made three shots in the first part of the second quarter to give the Ramblers a 19 point lead. She tallied eight points in the second quarter, leading the Loyola to finish the half 34-9.
Loyola kept up its solid lead even as St. Francis managed to come back and score a few shots in the latter half of the third quarter. It ended with a smooth three-pointer from Brown to put the score at 52-19.
The back-and-forth action picked in the fourth quarter as multiples of Loyola fans came in for the men’s game — the second part of a doubleheader in Gentile. O’Connor kept up her point streak and tallied five more, and the Ramblers topped off their win with another solid three-pointer from Brown.
Sophomore Loyola guard Ellie Rice said going forward the team will focus on improving details. such as communication on the court, in order to sharpen their game.
“Communication is a big one,” Rice said. “I also think pushing in transition, and getting rebounds.”
The Ramblers will take on University of Detroit Mercy — a team Achter said the Ramblers struggled against offensively last year — in Detroit, Mich. Nov. 5. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.