The Loyola men’s basketball team started its season with a disappointing 65-60 exhibition loss to Division II school University of Indianapolis at Gentile Arena Tuesday night.
This is the Ramblers’ second exhibition loss in the seven games head coach Porter Moser has coached — all of which have been against Division II or Division III schools, per NCAA rules.
The Ramblers struggled offensively throughout the game, shooting just 18-for-49 from the field and 3-for-18 from three-point territory. Junior guard Lucas Williamson made all three baskets from downtown and finished with a team-high 17 points on the night. As a team, the Ramblers turned the ball over 17 times. Moser accepted the blame for the offensive struggles.
“If we’re not running our offense well enough, it starts with me,” Moser said following the loss. “If we’re turning the ball over … it starts with me.”
Indianapolis, which plays in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, went 19-10 overall last year and finished fourth in the conference. The Greyhounds also defeated Valparaiso University — one of Loyola’s Missouri Valley Conference rivals — last year in exhibition.
Williamson and junior center Cameron Krutwig were two of the only bright spots on offense, combining for 24 of Loyola’s 34 second-half points after only scoring a combined seven first half points. Krutwig finished with 14 on the night.
First-year point guard Marquise Kennedy also turned in a solid performance for the Ramblers, scoring 11 points in his first collegiate game. Kennedy, Williamson and Krutwig were the only players to score in double figures for Loyola.
Loyola has six newcomers on its roster this year — five of whom played in the exhibition since junior point guard Keith Clemons is out with a meniscus injury. They combined for 25 points, 9-for-28 shooting and nine turnovers. Tate Hall, who’s playing his first season at Loyola after transferring from Indianapolis, managed just two points on 1-for-7 shooting against his former team.
“You worry sometimes with new guys, they put all their eggs in the shooting basket,” Moser said. “If they miss a shot, everything kind of drops. We missed some shots early, I think we three or four airballs. Some guys never turned it after that.”
Loyola is set to have a week off before its season opener against the University of California, Davis at Gentile Arena Nov. 5. When asked about how the team would respond, Williamson said it’d come down to how practices go and remembering the season doesn’t actually start for another week.
“There’s still going to be tomorrow, we’re still going to have practice tomorrow,” Williamson said. “We just take it day by day. That’s how we get past this.”