After losing two games on the road against DePaul University Nov. 12 and Northwestern University Nov. 17, the Loyola women’s basketball team (2-2) returned to Gentile Arena to face Chicago State University (0-4) Nov. 20.
After a back-and-forth first half, Loyola came out on top with a score of 71-59.
The Ramblers lost the tip-off to the Cougars, but Loyola graduate guard Bre Hampton-Bey was able to put the first points on the board with a layup after a pair of turnovers.
Following two free throws from Hampton-Bey and a layup from senior forward Allison Day, Chicago State finally made its way onto the board with two free throws of its own.
The first quarter was full of back and forth action between the teams, complete with plenty of turnovers. Loyola gave up the ball nine times and Chicago State gave it up six times.
Despite the turnovers, Loyola stayed on top of Chicago State for the majority of the first quarter. During the last 40 seconds, however, shots by Chicago State’s Jazmine Covington — a former Rambler — and Janiah Newell put the Cougars up 16-14.
The Ramblers came back strong at the beginning of the second quarter with three-pointers from sophomore guard Maya Chandler and senior guard Janae Gonzales within the first minute.
Both teams were quick to respond to each other each time the opponent scored. This call and response of scoring continued throughout the second quarter until the final minutes, with free throws from sophomore forward Sitori Tanin and junior guard Sam Galanopoulos that broke the back-and-forth scoring.
Heading into halftime, the Ramblers led the Cougars 37-30.
During games where the ball quickly changes possession, Tanin said it’s important for the players to support each other.
“A lot of communicating with each other out on the court and on the bench [keeps the energy up],” Tannin said. “We’re always hyping each other up [and] giving each other confidence to shoot the ball.”
At the half, Loyola was shooting 66.7% from the field and had 13 rebounds — outdoing Chicago State’s 44% shooting from the field and nine rebounds.
At the start of the third quarter, Chicago State came out quickly — outscoring Loyola 13-7 in the first six minutes. Then, Loyola put up four back-to-back shots from junior guard Jala Johnson and Tanin. Along with a layup and free throw combination from junior forward Julia Hoefling, Loyola was able to end the quarter on top 55-45.
The back and forth turnovers continued into the second half of the game for both teams. Loyola ended with 24 turnovers and Chicago State tallied 16 turnovers of its own. Chicago State also outscored Loyola on points from turnovers 24-10.
“There needs to be better decision making with the ball,” head coach Achter said in response to Loyola’s turnovers. “If we just do what we do and we stay confident with what we’re running, then those things will improve.”
Despite the turnovers, Loyola carried the momentum throughout the second half and the Ramblers were able to finish the game with a 71-59 win.
Up next, the Ramblers are set to host University of St. Francis at Gentile Arena Nov. 24. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. and the game is scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN 3.