Loyola Falls To Green Bay, 73-65
Feb. 2, 2013
CHICAGO - Loyola University Chicago staged another huge second-half rally, this time coming from 11 points down to take a five-point lead, but the Ramblers (13-9, 3-6 Horizon) were unable to make it hold up in a 73-65 loss to Green Bay (12-11, 6-4 Horizon) this afternoon at Gentile Arena.
"Give Green Bay credit, they made some big shots down the stretch but it's been our inability to defend that has hurt us lately," Loyola head coach Porter Moser said. "You cannot give up 65 percent shooting in the second half and expect to win. The key to the game was when we took a five-point lead in the second half, we took our foot off the pedal and acted like we were happy to have the lead, and they responded with a 10-0 run."
Loyola fell behind by as many as 10 points in the first half, at 27-17, due in large part to the play of Green Bay junior center Alec Brown. The 7-foot-1 Brown totaled 10 of his game-high 25 points during the opening 20 minutes, showcasing his versatility by scoring both on the block and from the perimeter.
The Ramblers sliced their deficit down to 31-28 as Ben Averkamp scored seven points in an 11-4 run, but Cole Stefan's three-pointer at the first-half buzzer sent the Phoenix into the break ahead by six (34-28).
Brown scored seven of his team's first nine points to open the second half as Green Bay extended its lead to 43-32 before Loyola began to methodically chip away at the deficit.
A Christian Thomas dunk sparked Loyola to a 21-7 spurt that turned the 11-point deficit into a 55-50 lead with 6:40 left in the contest. Back-to-back baskets by Jordan Hicks, including three-pointer from the left corner, capped the Rambler offensive surge.
The Phoenix stormed right back however, scoring 10 unanswered points to take a 60-55 lead, with guard Sultan Muhammad notching five of his 14 points during that decisive stretch.
Loyola got within four points on a pair of occasions in the final two minutes, the last time coming when Devon Turk's three-pointer from the right corner matched the Loyola single-season record for triples (42) and made it 66-62, but Green Bay would convert seven of eight attempts from the free throw line down the stretch to seal the win.
Green Bay shot a sizzling 65 percent (13 for 20) from the field in the second half, and 58 percent for the game, to escape with the win. Brown paced the Phoenix with 25 points on 10 of 14 shooting.
All but five of the Ramblers' points came from their starting five, with Averkamp leading the way with 17 points and six rebounds. Thomas tossed in 16 points, while Hicks added 15. Cully Payne pitched in 10 points and eight assists, one off his career best, for Loyola, which committed only 11 turnovers and shot 48 percent (25 for 52) from the field.
Loyola opens a stretch of three consecutive road games when it visits Wright State Monday night.