The Loyola men’s basketball team (4-5) took down the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Dec. 6 in a dominating 70-46 win after dropping a heartbreaker to DePaul University Dec. 2. After cleaning up turnovers and shooting from losses on the road and one at home, the Ramblers look towards their next opponent, Clemson University. The game …
Loyola Men’s Basketball Dominates Green Bay in 70-46 Win
The Loyola men’s basketball team (4-5) took down the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Dec. 6 in a dominating 70-46 win after dropping a heartbreaker to DePaul University Dec. 2. After cleaning up turnovers and shooting from losses on the road and one at home, the Ramblers look towards their next opponent, Clemson University.
The game began in Loyola’s hands, with the same starting lineup as its game Dec. 2 against DePaul University. Senior forward Tom Welch drove the ball in for a layup and after two attempts, Green Bay’s Blake Zae took possession on a defensive rebound. The Phoenix took notice of Loyola’s inside game and quickly applied defensive pressure, but the Ramblers adjusted to shooting from outside the three-point arc.
The Phoenix beat Loyola to the board first with a driving layup off a turnover from junior forward Philip Alston, but the Ramblers were quick to respond with a three-pointer from redshirt senior guard Braden Norris. The Ramblers held Green Bay scoreless for three minutes while scoring three baskets — one each from Alston, Welch and redshirt first-year Ben Schwieger.
Cade Meyer broke the Phoenix’s scoring drought with a layup, but the Ramblers responded swiftly with a three-pointer from first-year guard Jayden Dawson, his third of the season. Loyola shot just over 54% from the field after 14 minutes in the first half, bringing its lead up by 12 at 28-16.
After the Ramblers took the lead, the half was theirs. Both Schwieger and Alston made dunks just two minutes apart from each other, followed up with another three from Norris. Welch continued to position himself near the net, waiting to hit another layup.
To finish the half, the Ramblers were successful on both sides of the court with 18 total defensive rebounds, allowing just 16 points and a mere 25% from the field Loyola held a comfortable 21-point lead at half, with Norris leading its offense with 10 points and playing 19 out of the half’s 20 minutes.
Green Bay got the ball to start the second half, but its possession was cut short after Schwieger grabbed a defensive rebound. After passing the ball to Norris, Schwieger took the ball back for a layup and the first basket of the half. Shortly after, Norris and Alston picked up one personal foul each, Norris’ resulting in two free throws by Green Bay’s Blake Zae.
The Phoenix went scoreless for nearly three minutes to begin the half, but Nate Jenkins hit a three-pointer to get Green Bay back on the board. The Ramblers responded with two layups by Welch to extend their lead to 22 at 43-21.
For a short two minutes, Loyola gave its starting lineup a break and subbed in graduate forward Bryce Golden, first-year guards Jalen Quinn and Jayden Dawson, sophomore forward Saint Thomas and junior guard Sheldon Edwards, who allowed Green Bay to make a jump shot and a three-pointer. Golden attempted a layup while Edwards attempted a three-pointer, but both were unsuccessful. All five starters were subbed back in at the 13-minute mark.
Though Loyola had its starters back in the game, it went on a four-minute scoring drought while allowing Green Bay’s Garren Davis to score a hookshot jumper. After a turnover by the Phoenix, senior guard Marquise Kennedy broke the Ramblers’ drought with a wide-open three-point shot, followed by two consecutive baskets by Alston.
Throughout the next two minutes Alston and Welch picked up personal fouls, but also drew a foul resulting in two free throws. Welch went to the line and added two to Loyola’s then 22 point lead. Norris, who led the team with 18 points, hit another three-pointer to pad the Ramblers’ lead.
The Ramblers once again subbed in their back-ups, leaving Norris in the game to assist. Green Bay took advantage of Dawson’s travel turnover and hit a three-point jumper, but soon after fouled Golden who made one free throw. Norris, just before being subbed out, hit his fourth three-pointer to end his time on the court for the night.
For the last three minutes of the game, junior center Jacob Hutson and graduate forward Jeameril Wilson were subbed in, followed by redshirt first-year Will Smythe, first-year guard Caleb Reese and first-year forward Nolan Marold. Smythe hit a step-back jump shot to finish the game and send the crowd to its feet in cheers.
Norris said it was special to see the walk-ons get minutes at the end, especially when they’re able to score.
“They’re asked to do some things that a lot of people wouldn’t do day in and day out, they never change or stay the same and bring energy,” Norris said. “We wouldn’t be the same team without those guys.”
Following the game, Head Coach Drew Valentine said he thought his team looked more connected and had the right approach for the win.
“Tonight was all about our approach, our mentality and to really prove to ourselves, not to anybody else, that we are truly getting better,” Valentine said. “We look more organized, our roles look more defined [and] we’re shooting the ball better from three.”
The Ramblers will travel to Atlanta to compete in the Holiday Hoopsgiving tournament against Clemson University Dec. 10. Tip off is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. and is set to be broadcast on ACCN on ESPN.