Men's Basketball

Ramblers Fight to Win Over Sycamores After Trailing First Half

Steve Woltmann | Loyola AthleticsJunior guard Marquise Kennedy contributed 16 points during Loyola's victory over Indiana State Dec. 1.

After trailing 33-30 at halftime, the Loyola men’s basketball team (13-2, 4-0) pulled ahead in the second half to secure a 64-56 win over the Indiana State Sycamores in Terre Haute, Indiana Jan. 15.

This victory keeps the Ramblers undefeated so far in Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) play and marks the team’s second win over the Sycamores this season after opening Valley play against them Dec. 1.

Three Loyola players finished with double-digit points — graduate guard Lucas Williamson with 17, junior guard Marquise Kennedy with 15 and redshirt junior guard Braden Norris with 12.

The game began with Indiana State taking a 7-0 lead just over three minutes in. Just over three minutes later, senior forward Ryan Schwieger sunk a three-point shot to make the score 11-6, putting the Ramblers within five points. However, this was the closest the score would be until there were less than two minutes in the first half.

The Sycamores proceeded to score nine points compared to Loyola’s three over the next three minutes, putting the score up to 20-9. The Ramblers couldn’t keep pace with Indiana State throughout the middle of the half as the home team increased its lead to 15 points with just under six minutes left.

Loyola then fired back with an 8-0 scoring run – five points of which were from Kennedy. This run put the Ramblers back within seven points with 3:26 to go in the half. After a couple minutes of back-and-forth action, Loyola came up within three points to head into halftime trailing 33-30.

The Ramblers were lacking in shooting and ball control in the first half — just over 10 minutes in, Loyola was only shooting 28.6% from the field. Although the team was able to head into the break shooting 45.1%, it still suffered 10 turnovers in the first half alone. 

The second half went on to change the tide for the Ramblers. Within 1:20, Norris put up a layup and a free-throw to tie the game at 33. The following minutes proceeded to see Loyola fight against Indiana State to stay within three points, finally taking a 40-38 lead thanks to a three-pointer from Kennedy with 16:04 left in the game. 

Neither team would score for over three minutes until Indiana State took the lead back 41-40. However, this wouldn’t last long as the game would go neck-and-neck until Williamson’s layup would secure the Ramblers’ lead at 46-45. The visitors would maintain the lead for the remainder of the matchup.

Williamson quickly went on to score five more points, stretching Loyola’s lead to 50-45 with 7:51 left to play. Although the Sycamores eventually were able to come up within two points with under seven minutes to go, Indiana State couldn’t grab the lead back. The game was punctuated by a 7-0 run from Braden Norris that led the Ramblers to a 64-56 victory.

Loyola finished the second half shooting 44.4% from the field while holding the Sycamores to just 26.7%. The Ramblers also managed to limit their turnovers to seven this half, although they still finished with a total of 17.

Loyola will play its next matchup when it travels to Evansville, Indiana to play the University of Evansville Jan. 18. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game is set to be broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago+.

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