For the first time this season, the Loyola men’s basketball team (3-2) found success in three point shooting in a win over Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) 85-62 Wednesday night at Gentile Arena.
The Ramblers shot more than 50 percent on all fronts — 61.4 percent overall, 65.3 percent from the three and 91.7 percent from the free throw line. They were led by junior guard Lucas Williamson, who tallied 22 points.
Junior center Cameron Krutwig, first-year guard Marquise Kennedy and first-year guard Paxson Wojcik also scored double digits with 18, 14 and 10 points respectively. Loyola head coach Porter Moser said he knew they could shoot despite their recent struggles, but the players were able to connect today.
“It was great to see some movement on offense.” Moser said. “We’ve been moving the ball on offense. It was great to see us knock down some shots and step in with confidence.”
IUPUI attacked at the beginning of the game, causing Loyola’s defense to readjust. Jaguars guard Marcus Burk dropped 17 points in the first half alone to lead the offense. Once the Ramblers gained their footing, it was a back-and-forth game — the score was tied four separate times in the first half.
Kennedy created some momentum for his team as he scored a buzzer-beater three-point shot to end the first half before heading to the locker room. Loyola was only up by eight at the break.
Check out this ankle-breaker move from @king_quise23 as he buried a 3⃣ at the first-half buzzer in #Loyola's 85-62 victory over IUPUI Wednesday night. 😮👀#SCTop10 #OnwardLU #MVCHoops pic.twitter.com/ZQodiooHPw— Loyola Men's Basketball (@RamblersMBB) November 21, 2019
The second half was a different story. The Ramblers took control and outscored the Jaguars 46-31. It didn’t help that the Jaguars’ second leading scorer, Isaiah Williams, fouled out. IUPUI was held to 22 points until the last couple minutes of the final half.
“I thought we made some really good ‘one more passes,’” Moser said. “That’s who we are. There were so many times we had it and then we ‘one mored’ it quick to get a better shot. We always say ‘pass up a decent shot to get a better shot.’
Moser said he was especially happy with Wojcik’s line. The first-year tallied three assists and three steals in addition to his success scoring the ball.
“Seeing that first one go in helps you,” Wojcik said. “It loosens you up. I hear all the time from my coaches and teammates, ‘Stay ready and be aggressive.’ Their confidence in me built confidence in myself.”
IUPUI came into the game 2-2 after going 11-19 last season. Earlier this season, the Jaguars lost to Bradley University — one of Loyola’s conference foes — but they also beat Loyola’s next opponent, University of South Florida, 70-53 Nov. 13.
The Ramblers are scheduled to play South Florida as part of the Cayman Islands Classic tournament Nov. 25. Tip-off is set for 12:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on FloHoops.