After winning its season-opener against the University of Detroit Mercy, the Loyola women’s basketball team (1-1) traveled down the CTA Red Line to face “Red Line Rival” DePaul University (2-0), ultimately falling to the Blue Demons 87-53.
DePaul kicked off the first quarter with a fast-break layup by senior guard Sonya Morris. After another DePaul basket by sophomore guard Darrione Rogers, the Ramblers answered with a corner three-pointer by sophomore guard Maya Chandler.
Later in the first quarter after a Loyola three-pointer by senior forward Allison Day, DePaul scored 13 straight points, most coming close to the hoop on shots after rebounds and textbook layups.
Throughout the first quarter, the Blue Demons scored 20 points in the paint, aided by six offensive rebounds. DePaul’s defense also created problems for the Ramblers’ offense early, causing a 10-second violation and a turnover by Day on an inbound pass. In the final seconds of the quarter, Rogers nailed a half-court shot to extend the DePaul lead to 12.
In the second quarter, the Blue Demons built their lead to 16 with a pair of layups by graduate guard Deja Church after steals by herself and Morris. DePaul also struggled with turnovers after a lost ball turnover by graduate guard Dee Bekelja led to a three-pointer by Loyola senior guard Janae Gonzales.
Despite Loyola’s shooting troubles, Day shot well in the quarter, sinking a layup and three-pointer to cut into the Blue Demons lead. Going into halftime, DePaul led 42-28.
Solid shooting and points in the paint led the Blue Demons to their commanding lead at halftime. DePaul shot 46% from the floor, with 30 points in the key. The Ramblers couldn’t keep up with the Blue Demons’ high-scoring offense, shooting 35% from the floor and 25% from the free-throw line.
In the third quarter, Loyola junior forward Julia Hoefling made a layup to cut DePaul’s lead to 12. The Blue Demons responded with a second-chance layup by first-year forward Aneesah Morrow and two buckets by Morris, extending their lead to 16.
Cutting into DePaul’s lead, Loyola junior guard Sam Galanopoulos shrugged off a tough first half of shooting, where she went 0-6, with six points in the quarter. DePaul’s Morris was even more impressive in the quarter, scoring 13 points while shooting 6-7 from the field.
Much like the first half, where DePaul outrebounded Loyola 26 to 17, the Blue Demons controlled the boards in the quarter with 11 total rebounds, six of which were offensive. DePaul’s offensive rebounds led to four second-chance baskets, lifting the Blue Demons to a 63-45 lead at the end of the third quarter.
In the final quarter, the Ramblers struggled to maintain possession, turning the ball over seven times and creating four points for the Blue Demons. After a pair of second-chance baskets by Rogers, she knocked down her second three-pointer of the game, extending DePaul’s lead to 34. Ultimately, the Blue Demons never gave up their lead, beating Loyola 87-53.
DePaul was led to victory by Morris’s 23 points, shooting 11-14 from the floor. Defensively, Church, who also scored 18 points, led the team with seven defensive rebounds and three steals.
Loyola head coach Kate Achter said her team did great shutting down Morrow, who was held to nine points after scoring 31 points in DePaul’s win over Texas Southern University. She said her team’s success limiting Morrow’s offensive contributions was due to how they approached her style of play.
“We thought that if we could put her in a crowd and make it contested, we were going to challenge her to see what that was going to be like,” Achter said. “We did a pretty good job of that tonight.”
Loyola had a poor night offensively, only shooting 37% from the floor and 23% from the three-point territory. Achter said her team’s offensive problems stem from failing to get Day chances in the post and straying from the fundamentals.
“We did too much at times, we missed a lot of our post touches,” Achter said. “I think we have a darn good post player in Allison Day, and we just didn’t get her good enough looks at the basket tonight.”
The Ramblers also struggled to maintain possession throughout the game with 21 turnovers, gifting DePaul 18 points off turnovers. While most teams heavily anticipate DePaul’s full-court press, Achter said her team found more difficulty in the half-court.
“I thought our decision-making in the half-court was poor,” she said. “We certainly prepared very hard for the full-court pressure, we just need to prepare harder for the half-court stuff. That was more of our Achilles’ heel.”
Achter said the loss doesn’t change anything for her team. She said she needs to make a consistent lineup and playing a formidable DePaul team, that she believes should be ranked in the AP Top 25, helps early in the season.
“With as much depth as we do have, we are still trying to shake up a lineup for some consistency,” she said. “We are going to get better.”
The Ramblers are set to travel north to Evanston to face Northwestern University Nov. 17. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game is set to be broadcast on B1G+.