Men's Basketball

Offensive Woes Down Loyola Against Boise State in Myrtle Beach Invitational

Courtesy of Tiffany HenryRedshirt senior guard Braden Norris shot just 12% from the field in Loyola's loss to Boise State University Nov. 18.

The Loyola men’s basketball team (2-2) fell 70-48 to Boise State University Nov. 18 in its second match of the Myrtle Beach Invitational. The Broncos’ offense excelled in the second half as it outscored the Ramblers 39-22.

Loyola won the tip-off to start the game, and sophomore guard Saint Thomas drained a three-pointer to give the Ramblers the first score of the game. Boise State responded with a pair of layups by Tyson Degenhart and Chibuzo Agbo to take a one-point lead. 

In the first five minutes of the half, both offenses fought back and forth with a flurry of baskets, as Loyola was 4-6 from the floor while Boise State went 6-7. After trailing for nearly eight minutes, the Ramblers were able to tie the game at 14 with a layup by first-year guard Jayden Dawson and a three-pointer by Sheldon Edwards.

With just over 11 minutes to play, junior forward Philip Alston made a three-pointer to give Loyola a 17-16 lead. The Broncos were quick to respond with a three-pointer by Marcus Shaver Jr. to lead by two. However, their lead was short-lived as Dawson drained a three-pointer to give the Ramblers a one-point lead.

Following a four-minute scoring drought for both teams, Boise State made a jump shot and a dunk to lead 23-20. Loyola responded with a three-pointer by Dawson to tie the game at 23. 

In the final minute of the first half, the Broncos built a 31-25 lead thanks to a three-point scoring opportunity by Max Rice and a three-pointer by Agbo. The Ramblers struck back with a free throw by Alston to cut Boise State’s lead to five.

At the half, Loyola and Boise State seemed equally matched offensively, shooting 38% and 43% from the floor, respectively. However, the Ramblers struggled with ball control and committed eight turnovers in the half, resulting in eight points for the Broncos.

The second half began with Alston fighting for an offensive rebound and making a second-chance dunk to trim Loyola’s deficit to three. The Broncos struck back with a jump shot by Rice, but Alston made a driving layup seconds later to cut their lead to three.

In the span of less than a minute, Boise State went 5-5 from the free-throw line while the Ramblers made 3-4. The Broncos quickly built a 49-37 lead with a layup by Degenhart and a three-pointer by Agbo.

With 10 minutes left in the second half, Boise State went on a 10-0 scoring run to increase its lead to 17. Meanwhile, Loyola experienced a seven-minute scoring drought and missed 10 shots in a row. 

The Ramblers were able to score 11 points in the last five minutes of the game, but they couldn’t overcome the Broncos’ commanding lead. In the end, Boise State finished off Loyola with a score of 70-48. 

The game was a tale of two offenses, as Boise State shot 46% from the floor while Loyola shot just 32%. Agbo and Degenhart powered the Broncos’ offense, scoring 24 and 19 points, respectively. On the other end of the court, Alston led Loyola with 11 points while shooting just 3-9 from the floor. 

Loyola Head Coach Drew Valentine said he was disappointed in his team’s performance, but commended Boise State’s defensive prowess.

“Gotta give Boise credit,” Valentine said. “They did a good job of forcing us to play a lot of one-on-one basketball with their switching. You saw what happens when our team doesn’t play together offensively.”

Loyola is set to face No. 24 Texas A&M University on Nov. 20 in its third match of the Myrtle Beach Invitational. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and is set to broadcast on ESPN+.

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