Loyola Drops Heartbreaker In Overtime, 68-64, At Youngstown State
Jan. 5, 2012
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Ben Averkamp and Walt Gibler accounted for 49 points but Loyola University (5-10, 0-5 Horizon) suffered a heartbreaking 68-64 loss to host Youngstown State (8-6, 3-1 Horizon) in overtime tonight at the Beeghly Center. Gibler notched his fourth double-double in the last seven games by totaling 26 points, the second-highest output of his career, and 11 rebounds.
"We put ourselves in a position to win and unfortunately didn't get it done," Loyola Head Coach Porter Moser said. "It's really disappointing. We wanted to get the ball inside to Ben and Walt and you can't say enough about their effort and what they did tonight."
Defense reigned early in the game and Loyola scored the first five points of the contest and held the Penguins scoreless for the opening 4:40 of the game before Youngstown charged back to take a 22-15 lead.
Loyola did an outstanding job defensively, holding YSU leading scorer Kendrick Perry, who came in averaging 15.1 points per game, to two points and only two shots in the opening half. Gibler and Averkamp combined for 15 points on 7 of 11 shooting in the opening period, while the rest of the Ramblers managed seven points on 2 of 11 from the field.
The Ramblers wiped out a nine-point deficit in the second half, reclaiming the lead on Averkamp's three-pointer with 14:05 remaining for a 40-39 advantage. Loyola would lead by as many as four points (49-45), and Gibler's lay-up with 54 seconds left in regulation gave the Ramblers a 58-57 edge.
Perry missed the front end of a two-shot foul, then drained the second freebie to even the score at 58 with 22 ticks showing on the clock. In possession of the ball and with a chance at a game-winning shot, Averkamp and Gibler both missed contested shots in the waning seconds that would have given Loyola the victory but instead sent Loyola to its first overtime period since February 16, 2011.
Gibler scored Loyola's two baskets in overtime, with a Damian Eargle basket thrown in between, as Loyola took a 62-60 edge. Ashen Ward's free throw cut the Loyola lead in half and Averkamp was later whistled for his fifth personal foul with 2:29 to play.
A basket by Perry put YSU back ahead by one, but Joe Crisman hit a five-foot jumper from the baseline to put LU back on top, 64-63. However, a jumper by Eargle with 53 seconds left gave the Penguins the lead and they never looked back. After hitting just 7 of their first 19 tries from the foul line, the Penguins knocked down three of four attempts in the closing 33 seconds.
Loyola committed only nine turnovers on the night and shot 45 percent (25 for 56) from the field, as Averkamp and Gibler combined to connect on 20 of 31 attempts. Averkamp collected 23 points, two boards and three assists, while Gibler added four assists to his 26 points and 11 boards. Denzel Brito came off the bench to contribute five points, seven assists and only one turnover.
Ward led Youngstown State with 21 points.
Loyola closes out the weekend swing through northeast Ohio when it travels to Cleveland State Saturday (Jan. 7) at 1 p.m. Central. The game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Chicago as the Horizon League Game of the Week.