Four days after losing to Furman University by 24 points, the Loyola men’s basketball team (1-2) suffered another disappointing loss.
The Ramblers lost to Coppin State University 76-72 at Gentile Arena Tuesday night. Loyola shot 42.6 percent from the field and just 19 percent from beyond the three-point line. Coppin State outscored Loyola 45-34 after halftime en route to the victory.
Last season, the Eagles went 8-25 overall and 7-9 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). The Eagles were ranked 342 out of 353 Division I teams in the NCAA Evaluation Tool — a metric which helps determine which teams receive at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament — last year.
Two Loyola players scored in double-digits on the night. Junior forward Tate Hall led the way with 23 points and junior center Cameron Krutwig scored 18 points while adding 12 rebounds and six assists. Redshirt junior guard Clayton Dejuan led the Eagles with 21 points.
After the game, Loyola head coach Porter Moser acknowledged his team’s early shooting woes and believes it’s hurting the team’s overall performance.
“[The shooting woes] are hurting [Krutwig],” Moser said. “We went right to Krut to start the game and they adjusted. We started taking shots, and we hit our first two threes. Then from that point, [we] went 2-for-19.”
Moser also made a change to the starting lineup, putting junior Jalon Pipkins in for his first career start at Loyola over first-year guard Marquise Kennedy, who started the previous two games of the season. Pipkins scored nine points on 3-for-10 shooting while Kennedy scored eight points and five rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench.
“We’ve gotten off to some slow starts,” Moser said. “Not necessarily blaming [Kennedy] at all, just having him see the intensity to start with. Just tinkering with early season stuff, we’re still trying to find our way with a lot of new guys.”
Loyola got off to another slow start but managed to close the half on a 13-1 run to go into halftime with a 38-31 lead. But the Ramblers struggled in the second half, shooting 9-for-24 from the field and 0-for-8 from downtown.
“We got to take it and bounce back,” Hall said. “We came back from Furman with a sour taste in our mouth and we were looking to come back and bounce back. Obviously, we couldn’t get the job done, but we’ll continue to do that as the year goes on.”
The Ramblers held the Eagles to seven assists and forced 14 turnovers. But Loyola also turned the ball over 14 times after committing 22 miscues against Furman. The Eagles also shot better, shooting 44.4 percent from three-point territory compared to Loyola’s 19 percent.
Loyola only dressed eight scholarship players in the game due to injuries. First-year guard Paxson Wojcik suffered a knee injury at practice Nov. 10 and Moser said although there’s currently no timetable for his return, but assured that it’s not a torn ACL.
Loyola is set to continue a three-game homestand against Saint Joseph University Nov. 16. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago+.