Women's Basketball

Allison Day Scores 21 Points as Loyola Dominates Evansville

Steve Woltmann | Loyola AthleticsSenior forward Allison Day was instrumental in Loyola's win against Evansville tallying 21 points.

After falling to Illinois State University 68-50 Jan. 15, the Loyola women’s basketball team (11-7, 3-4) faced Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) rival University of Evansville, beating the Purple Aces 68-54. 

Evansville is 2-6 on the road largely due to its offensive struggles, shooting 37% from the floor on average while allowing 81.8 points on average. Three-pointers are crucial for the Purple Aces, as Evansville is 5-2 in games with seven-or-more three-pointers made and just 2-7 when hitting six three-pointers or less.  

Loyola won the tip-off to start the game and put its first points on the board with a three-pointer by senior forward Allison Day, who recently joined Loyola’s 1,000 points club. 

Later in the quarter, the Purple Aces began to full-court press the Ramblers, attempting to force a turnover and end Loyola’s offensive success. Evansville’s press failed as junior guard Sam Galanopoulos broke past half court, leading to a three-pointer from senior guard Janae Gonzales to put the Ramblers back on top 12-10. 

Loyola graduate guard Bre Hampton-Bey said the team’s response to Evansville’s press was to not hesitate with passes, adding that the team needed to look for an opening and drive down the court to break the press, she said.

“Just go hard and find an opening we were looking for, just digging it out,” she said. “We knew they were going to press us, but we didn’t let that bother us.”

In the second quarter, Evansville missed five straight shots until Je’naiya Davis converted a three-point opportunity at the free-throw line after a hard-fought layup. 

After Evansville’s Anna Newman knocked down two free throws to trim the Loyola lead to four, Loyola sophomore guard Maya Chandler cut to the lane and passed the ball to junior guard Anna Brown for a layup, extending the Ramblers lead to six.

Evansville’s offensive sputtered to a halt in the quarter, shooting just 15% from the floor. Nine Loyola personal fouls in the quarter kept Evansville in the game, giving the Purple Aces 13 points at the free-throw line. Loyola led Evansville 35-31 at the half. 

In the third quarter, Loyola’s offense improved dramatically after shooting 37% from the floor in the first half to shoot 60% in the third quarter. Day added to her impressive offensive showing — 15 points in the first half — with a layup to extend the Ramblers’ lead to four. 

Loyola lost Hampton-Bey after she was shaken up after a play. Hampton-Bey picked herself up and proceeded to gather a defensive rebound before leaving the game, returning to the bench late in the quarter. 

The Ramblers extended their lead thanks to seven free-throws — four by Chandler — while shooting 87% from the free-throw line in the third quarter. Heading into the final quarter, Loyola led 54-39. 

Loyola kicked off the fourth quarter by extending its lead to 17 with a jumper by Hampton-Bey. The Ramblers then experienced a scoring drought for 3 and a half minutes until Hampton-Bey made another layup. 

In the end, Loyola defeated Evansville 68-54 as the Purple Aces’ late offensive revival wasn’t enough to challenge the Ramblers’ dominant lead. Evansville’s 23 free-throws couldn’t make up for the team’s poor offensive production, shooting 29% from the floor while only making one three-pointer.

Loyola head coach Kate Achter said her team shut down Evansville by being aggressive after screens while maintaining a sense of urgency on every possession. She said she told her players to pressure senior guards Myia Clark, who scores 13.2 points on average, and Anna Newman — who leads the team with 3.6 assists per game.

“We wanted to make the ball screen defense pretty intense because we knew that [Clark] was really good at getting downhill, so we wanted to deter her from drives,” Achter said. “We know Newman is a facilitator, so we wanted to make it as difficult for her as well.”

Day led Loyola with 21 points and nine rebounds while shooting 10-17 from the floor. Achter said she loves that Day has the confidence to take tough shots, recognizing that her team wouldn’t have won without her performance.

“We don’t win without her performance, I mean 48 points in the paint for us is a pretty high number, but that was one of our game goals,” she said. “We wanted to dominate the paint and Allison was instrumental in that tonight.”

The Ramblers are set to face Valparaiso University Jan. 28 at Gentile Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the game is set to be broadcast on ESPN+. 

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