GENTILE ARENA --- Valparaiso (13-7) may be the hottest team in the Horizon League right now and the Ramblers are definitely the coldest. The Crusaders came into the Gentile Arena and ran Loyola right out of their home gym tonight, 69-48 in a one sided affair. Loyola (5-13) never really found itself on offense or defense as a matter of fact.
The high point for the Ramblers was Jordan Hicks, a man who hasn’t really hit it off this season after missing out the first ten games due to injury. Hicks shot 6-11 from the field to the like of a team high 13 points that included a stellar alley opp slam.
“Maybe that will snowball in to some confidence. He [Jordan Hicks] had a little swagger to him offensively and I’m hoping he can build on that cause we need it,” added Porter Moser when asked what Hicks’ performance means to the team.
There is no doubt that offensively the Ramblers will be better off when Jordan is hitting shots. It is difficult to imagine no show performances from Ben Averkamp and Walt Gibler again. Walt Gibler did not play to his full potential tonight and was practically invisible on the offensive side going 2-10 shooting with three turnovers. Gibler’s co-captain Ben Averkamp was also absent tonight on offense as well. The lack of production from Loyola’s two superstars deemed to be the ultimate reason for the ugly showing.
Valpo does need some recognition for the meticulous handling of the two forwards.
“That’s the best anyone’s guarded Ben and Walt in a year. No one has down that to Ben and Walt all year long,” said Porter Moser in regards to Valpo’s near perfect defense that heavily dampened Loyola’s shooting. Going along with Porter’s statement, there truly hasn’t been the type of defense displayed on the court tonight thrown against the Ramblers thus far this season.
Looking on the bright side, Loyola is not a part of some slouch conference. “Horizon league is so competitive. Any night, any team can win. Even though we won comfortably tonight, it wasn’t easy,” said Ryan Broekhoff of Valparaiso.
The first half did play into this as early on it was close up until the end of the first half. Not until late in the game did the Crusaders begin to steam roll right past the Ramblers defense. From there, it was all Valpo.
Things don't get easier for the Ramblers either. Up next, is Butler Saturday at home. Game time is 1:00 pm.
Filed under: Game Summary