GENTILE ARENA --- The Loyola Ramblers (5-17, 0-12) surrendered a 65-47 loss at the Gentile Arena tonight to the Horizon League leading Cleveland State Vikings (19-4, 9-2) in what looked early on to be a defensive battle. The Vikings ultimately took off and stayed true to their conference leading defense allowing only 18 first half points. Forty-seven points usually won’t get it done in the Horizon League and it sure didn’t tonight.
Cleveland State head coach Gary Waters summed up the feel of the game perfectly, “This was an interesting game… we shot 68 percent and we didn’t look like it. We looked like we weren’t executing like we could but stats don’t lie.” The scoreboard once again was a bit deceiving and neglects to convey the message of how determined and strong the Ramblers played.
“Loyola played extremely hard and kept fighting. They understand how to play hard,” Waters added. There wasn’t a single loose ball or fast break where Loyola wasn’t in the thick off fighting. Each time Cleveland State knocked down a three or backed down a Loyola defender in the paint for an easy inside bucket, the Ramblers put it aside and kept battling.
“They’re the best no ‘win in the league’ team. When you’ve lost that many in the league some teams just quit. They dive for every loose ball on the floor and that’s gonna pay off in the future,” said Gary Waters. Porter Moser is the type of coach that does not tolerate lack of hustle and more importantly apathy. Down by twenty with a few minutes left the full court press was in full force for the Ramblers. Regardless of the score or record, Porter will have Loyola approach every game with the vigor and tenacity to win.
Joe Crisman led all scorers for Loyola with 14 points on a solid 6-11 shooting. Chim Kadima had a nice game contributing 7 points and 6 rebounds. Ben Averkamp sat out with concussion like symptoms and Walt Gibler was virtually non existent playing only 15 minutes and going 0-5 from the field. Walt has been going through a lot of pain and Porter sees no point in pushing the envelope with him.
Hometown kid Jeremy Montgomery scored a game high 16 points for the Vikings and was 3-4 shooting from three point land answering every run Loyola tried to start. Trey Harmon was absent in the first half playing only five minutes due to foul trouble, but he made sure to compensate for the quiet start in the second half of play. Harmon finished with an honest 10 points on 4 of 6 from the field in only 22 total minutes. Aaron Pogue and Anton Grady also notched in 10 points apiece to round out the scoring for Cleveland State.
“I really didn’t think we were scoring at the rate we were. Beyond the stretch they were playing good defense. We were out rebounded. That tells you how hard they were playing,” Gary Waters added. Loyola did clean up nicely on the glass grabbing 25 total boards, 13 of them being on offense. Cleveland State racked up a dainty three offensive rebounds. However, the Vikings did not need any glass work on offense because of how well the play on D. When center Aaron Pogue was asked about his team’s defense he replied, “That our identity. Offense might not be there but one thing you can guarantee from Cleveland State basketball is defense every night.”
A team that limits its opponent to only 47 total points will almost always come out with the victory.
"We played a very good team," Porter Moser added."We didn’t lose the game tonight because we didn’t come ready to fight. I felt they [CSU] don’t give you much room for error. They put tremendous defensive pressure," Porter said. There is no question that Cleveland State is an elite team, but the time has come to but everything aside and played grade A basketball for forty minutes. Sure, no one thought the Ramblers would get their first conference win tonight, but they no have a chance in these upcoming home games to shock the league and get the elusive Horizon League win.
Their chance will come again at home this Sunday at 1:00 pm, right before the SuperBowl, against the Youngstown State Penguins.
Filed under: Game Summary