Nov. 24, 2012
Loyola (3-1) at Northwestern (4-0)
Sunday, Nov. 25, 2 p.m.
Evanston, Ill., Welsh-Ryan Arena
Loyola brings a three-game winning streak into Welsh-Ryan Arena as the Ramblers make the short trip north to battle Northwestern
The Ramblers are still searching for their first win over the Wildcats, as Northwestern has won all of the previous 20 meetings between the two (11-0 in Evanston) Loyola hit a program-record 14 three-pointers last year and gave NU all it wanted in an eventual 72-67 setback at Gentile Arena
The Ramblers return four starters from last year's team including Preseason All-Horizon League Second Team picks Simone Law and Patrice King as well as high-scoring Monica Albano
Freshman point guard Taylor Johnson is the reigning Horizon League Newcomer of the Week. Johnson finished with 26 points, six rebounds and seven assists against SIU and followed it up with 17 points on Wednesday night against Northern Kentucky
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 43-52 (.453) into tonight's game
Fabulous Freshman To Super Sophomore
Sophomore post Simone Law made an immediate impact last season, giving the Ramblers a presence in the paint, and has continued to play at a high level early this year. A member of the 2011-12 Horizon League All-Newcomer Team and a Preseason All-Horizon League Second Team choice this fall, Law became the first freshman in program history to lead the team in both scoring (13.9 ppg) and rebounding (7.2) last season and she is pacing the Ramblers in both categories again in the early going this year (15.5 ppg, 11.5 rpg). She enters play today off a 13-point, 14-rebound effort in Loyola's win over Northern Kentucky.
No Luck Against Northwestern...Or Big Ten
As mentioned earlier, Loyola is winless in 20 lifetime meetings against Northwestern, the only team that the Ramblers have played five times or more and never beaten. Separated by just five miles, Evanston has not been kind to Loyola over the years. Only two of the 11 meetings at Northwestern have been decided by less than 10 points (last, Dec. 16, 1985) and the previous eight meetings here have been decided by an average of 25.1 points. The struggles are symbolic of Loyola's struggles against the Big Ten as a whole as the Ramblers are 3-38 (.073) with their last win a 72-55 victory over Wisconsin on Feb. 1, 1987
Loving The Land of Lincoln
Today's game against Northwestern is Loyola's second against an in-state team this season and far from the last. The Ramblers' non-conference slate features seven teams from the State of Illinois and LU also has two Horizon League games against city foe UIC.