The Loyola men’s basketball team (1-0) steamrolled the University of California, Davis 82-48 Tuesday night as its season opened in Gentile Arena behind a dominant performance from junior center Cameron Krutwig.
Voted Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Player of the Year, Krutwig led the Ramblers offensively, earning himself a double-double with 15 points and eight rebounds. He also tallied 11 assists — the most in a game by a Loyola player since Denzel Brito in 2011.
The Ramblers shot 35-for-63 from the field, but struggled at the three-point line, shooting 4-for-16. Four players scored double-digit points tonight led by Krutwig with 15 points. Junior guard Tate Hall, junior guard Lucas Williamson and first-year guard Marquise Kennedy scored 14, 13 and 11, respectively.
“We were able to get [the new players] a lot of minutes. They were minutes when the game was on the line.”
— Porter Moser, Loyola head coach
Despite the high scoring output, head coach Porter Moser said he felt the team still hasn’t hit its stride from the field.
“You want to create a team where it’s different guys different night,” Moser said. “We’re still not shooting it well. We were 3-for-18 last game and we’re 4-for-16 this game. We’re not shooting it well. We have to shoot it better moving forward.”
Loyola dished out 20 assists to eight turnovers on the night, compared to an eight assist-to-17 turnover mark the team had in its exhibition loss to Division II school University of Indianapolis Oct. 29.
“It‘s really hard to guard,” Krutwig said. “Coach has done a great job of putting guys in situations that are going to succeed and obviously tonight we had a bunch of guys in double figures.”
Aside from Krutwig’s huge performance, the Ramblers received big minutes throughout the game from their newcomers. Hall, Kennedy, first-year guard Paxson Wojcik, first-year forward Tom Welch and junior guard Jalon Pipkins all played more than 15 minutes, with Kennedy leading the way with 27.
All five played their first Division I minutes tonight and it translated to success, combining for 37 of the Ramblers’ 82 points.
“It’s a race to maturity,” Moser said. “This was great. We were able to get [the new players] a lot of minutes. They were minutes when the game was on the line.”
Just over 3,200 fans in Gentile Arena welcomed the Ramblers back to basketball season. This was a slight dip from the 3,795 fans that witnessed the 2018 home opener.
The Ramblers’ next game is Friday night at Furman University in a rematch of last year’s 60-58 loss in Gentile Arena. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.