Nov. 29, 2012
Loyola (3-2) at Northern Illinois (2-3)
Fri., Nov. 30 - 7 p.m.
DeKalb, Ill. - Convocation Center
Loyola looks to rebound from loss at Northwestern when it heads to DeKalb to take on Northern Illinois
The Huskies own a 12-7 lead in the all-time series and have won seven of the eight meetings here
Loyola overwhelmed NIU last season, racing out to a 34-16 halftime lead en route to a 73-42 win in a game played at North Park. The Ramblers shot 52% while holding the Huskies to 25% accuracy
The two schools were both members of the then-Midwestern Collegiate Conference for three seasons from 1994-97 before NIU left for the Mid-American Conference
The Ramblers, who were picked fourth in the Horizon League Preseason Poll, return four starters from last year's team including Preseason All-Horizon League Second Team picks Simone Law and Patrice King
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 43-53 (.448) into tonight's game
Middling Against the Mid-American
Loyola enters tonight's game with a 17-25 (.405) all-time record against Mid-American Conference teams with nearly half of those games (19) coming against Northern Illinois. The Ramblers have gone 1-2 (.333) against the MAC in each of the last three years, with last year's lone win coming against the Huskies. All told, Loyola is just 1-7 (.125) all-time in DeKalb with its lone win being a 75-69 victory on Feb. 12, 1997.
Yearning For Comforts of Home
Despite really struggling to find the basket in its first two games on the road, Loyola's offense had a much better flow during its two home games. After shooting 30% during their two-game swing though Pennsylvania, the Ramblers rebounded to connect at a 46% clip against Southern Illinois and Northern Kentucky. However, Loyola struggled again on the road, hitting just 34% of its shots last Sunday at Northwestern. For the season, Loyola is shooting 46% at home but just 31% in its three road contests
In freshman Taylor Johnson, it appears that Loyola's tradition of strong guard play will continue for the foreseeable future. After two decent games on the road to start the season, Johnson exploded against Southern Illinois, posting career-highs of 26 points, six rebounds, seven assists and four steals against the Salukis, and followed that up with 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting against Northern Kentucky. Thru five games, Johnson is second on the team in scoring at 12.4 ppg.
Sophomore Katie Faught had the best game of her college career last Sunday at Northwestern, pouring in a team-high 11 points in just 10 minutes off the bench. Faught made the most of her first appearance of the season, drilling 4-of-5 from the field, including 3-of-4 from downtown, and her 11 points nearly doubled her entire scoring output from last year, when she scored six total points in 13 appearances. Faught is the first player in program history to continue her career at Loyola University after prepping at Loyola Academy.