Hot-Shooting Youngstown State Tops Loyola, 84-76
Jan. 2, 2006
CHICAGO - Junior Majak Kou scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half to lead a spirited comeback but Loyola could not overcome a game-high 32 points from Quin Humphrey as Youngstown State shot 55-percent from the floor for the game and held on for an 84-76 win over the Ramblers this afternoon at the Gentile Center. Loyola falls to 9-3 (1-1 Horizon) while Youngstown State improves to 4-8 (1-1) on the season.
"Give Youngstown State credit, they really responded after a tough loss at UIC on Saturday," said head coach Jim Whitesell. "We did not have an answer for Humphrey all day. I thought early on our inability to rebound and guard individually set the tone. We got outplayed today and were slow to the ball at times."
The Penguins set the tone early, jumping out to a 6-0 lead after 90 seconds. Senior Chris Logan scored LU's first five points of the game as the Ramblers pulled within three, 8-5, but the Penguins kept pushing and went on a 14-3 run to take a 22-8 lead with 12:06 left in the half. The visitors maintained the double-digit lead until J.R. Blount cut it to nine (27-18) with a slicing lay-up at the 7:38 mark but Youngstown responded, building the lead back to 13 on a Humphrey three-pointer before settling on a 34-25 lead at halftime. Loyola struggled to find an offensive rhythm throughout the entire period, hitting just 9-of-28 (.321) in the opening 20 minutes while the Penguins hit at a 46% clip and enjoyed a 13-5 edge in second-chance points and a 14-0 advantage in points off turnovers in the half.
Loyola began to execute better in the opening minutes of the second half but were unable to put a sizeable dent in the deficit, as the Penguins had an answer for every LU spurt. However, it was the Ramblers' defense that fueled their comeback, with Kou leading the way on both ends. He had seven points and a steal as Loyola reeled off 11 of the next 13 points, capped by a Tom Levin jumper on the fast-break, to pull within two, 52-50, at the 11:30 mark. However, Youngstown State's John Barber extended the lead to four and Domonique Crawford converted a traditional three-point play to boost the lead to seven (57-50) and Loyola would get no closer the rest of the way.
Kou's 22 points tied his career-best and he added four rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocked shots in 33 turnover-less minutes. Blake Schilb finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists but hit just 6-of-18 from the floor. Leon Young also reached double figures, finishing with 13 points and eight boards. Humphrey added 10 rebounds to go with his 32 points to lead the Penguins, who outrebounded Loyola 39-32 and hit 18-of-27 (.667) from the floor in the second half to cement the win.
Loyola returns to action on Thursday night (Jan. 5), when it travels to Detroit to face the Titans at Calihan Hall. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.