Loyola Hosts UIC In Horizon League Opener




Jan. 11, 2013

UIC (4-10, 0-1 Horizon) at Loyola (5-8)
Sat., Jan. 12 • 2 p.m.
Chicago, Ill. • Gentile Arena

Loyola Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Ramblings
• Loyola hopes to carry over momentum from its win over Eastern Michigan when it opens Horizon League play against UIC at Gentile Arena
• The Ramblers are 14-15 (.483) all-time in conference openers. However, Loyola has won its last two, including an 81-73 win at Milwaukee last season
• Today marks the fifth time that Loyola has opened conference play with UIC with LU winning three of the four meetings, most recently a 95-80 win at UIC to in Dec., 2004
• The Ramblers had lost seven of its previous eight games before toppling Eastern Michigan in its non-conference finale
• Loyola was picked fourth in the Horizon League Preseason Poll and Simone Law was chosen to the Preseason All-Horizon League Second Team

Head Coach Eric Simpson
In his fourth season at the helm, Eric Simpson has a lot of weapons at his disposal as the Ramblers, with a talented group of veterans and newcomers, look to move up the Horizon League standings. Simpson put together the best season of any first-year Loyola coach in 2009-10, leading the Ramblers to a 15-15 mark with a senior-laden squad, and this year's team returns its top five scorers from last year. Simpson graduated from Northwestern in 1994 with a degree in history and brings a career record of 45-59 (.432) into today's game. He is 4-2 (.667) all-time against UIC and 2-1 (.667) in Horizon League openers, winning each of the last two seasons

Double-Double Data
As detailed above, Simone Law has established herself as a key scorer and rebounder for the Ramblers. She already has six double-doubles this season (11 career) and her 20-point, 11-rebound performance against Eastern Illinois on Wednesday night was her sixth career game of 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds, the most by a Loyola player since Nicole Richards had eight from 1996-98. In addition, Law has missed two more double-doubles this season by one rebound, marking the seventh and eighth time in her career that she has needed one more carom. Should see maintain her 9.6 rpg average, it would be the third-highest season output in LU history and best since Mary Schoenhoff ripped down 10.6 rpg during the 1981-82 season

Flying Up To 14th
Senior guard Monica Albano finally put her name in the Loyola record book as she became the 21st player in Loyola history to score 1,000 career points, reaching the milestone against Southern Illinois, and she has been climbing Loyola's career scoring chart ever since. With 23 points against Eastern Michigan, Albano upper her career total to 1,143 and moved ahead of Nicole Richards into 14th on the Ramblers' all-time list, 24 behind Jackie Huszti

This Taylor Is A Great Fit
In freshman Taylor Johnson, it appears that Loyola's tradition of strong guard play will continue for the foreseeable future. Johnson burst on the scene with a career-high 26 points against Southern Illinois and she has been solid ever since. She followed up a 16-point, eight-rebound, six-assist performance against DePaul by posting her first career double-double against Chicago State, finishing with 12 points and 10 steals in only 20 minutes of action. Already a two-time Horizon League Newcomer of the Week honoree, Johnson leads all Horizon League freshmen this season in scoring (11.4 ppg) and steals (2.8 spg), is second in rebounding (5.0 rpg) and third in assists (3.2 apg)

Ramblers Riding Own Big Three
While Loyola's roster is full of players with the ability to score the ball effectively, the Ramblers have relied on its own version of the big three to do much of the heavy lifting. Guards Monica Albano and Taylor Johnson and post Simone Law have combined to average 38.6 points and 16.7 rebounds per game this season and they were on full display last Saturday at Eastern Michigan, collectively contributing 50 points, 19 rebounds and 16 steals in the win over the Eagles