Defensive Effort Helps Loyola Top Toledo, 62-50, In Season Opener
Nov. 9, 2012
CHICAGO - Ben Averkamp scored a team-high 15 points and in the process became the 39th player in Loyola history to score 1,000 for his career, as Loyola University Chicago used a team effort to record a 62-50 victory over Toledo (0-1) tonight at Gentile Arena in the season opener for both clubs. The 50 points allowed by the Ramblers is the fewest surrendered in a season opener since they held Assumption to 44 in 1961.
"First of all it was great to have a home-court advantage and the atmosphere was energizing tonight," Loyola head coach Porter Moser said. "I thought we defended and played well. We didn't shoot the ball like we can but we were up by 22 points with five minutes to go and that's encouraging. We were in that position because we defended well."
After Toledo jumped out to a quick 7-3 lead, Averkamp and Matt O'Leary combined to score the next nine points as Loyola seized a 12-7 advantage it would never relinquish. The Ramblers would build their edge to as many as 12 points, at 36-24, on Averkamp's basket with just over a minute to go in the period.
Loyola put the game out of reach with a 16-2 run over a nearly nine-minute stretch in the second half, punctuated by an explosive dunk by Jordan Hicks that brought the Gentile Arena crowd to its feet.
Averkamp's milestone moment came when he sank a pair of free throws at the 19:18 mark of the second half and with his nine rebounds tonight, the senior forward now needs only 18 boards to become the 19th player in school history to rack up 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in his career.
Sophomore Joe Crisman pitched in 10 points, and four boards, while Hicks added nine points and six rebounds for Loyola. Three other players making their Rambler debut enjoyed solid evenings as Cully Payne (seven points, three assists), O'Leary (eight points, seven rebounds), Jeff White (seven points, rebounds) and Devon Turk (six points, four rebounds) all contributed to the win.
Toledo was led by Julius Brown's 15 points.
Loyola is back in action Monday night (Nov. 12) when it hosts Rockhurst.