Loyola (11-5, 1-2) found its first Missouri Valley Conference victory last night with a 77-66 post over University of Northern Iowa (5-9, 0-3). The Ramblers bested the defending MVC champs on strong performances from team leaders Milton Doyle and Donte Ingram.
With impressive all around team play that's been missing over a three game losing streak, there is much to happy about.
Let's take a look at the key takeaways from the win:
- Senior Milton Doyle posts near Triple-Double/Donte Ingram notches double-double
"Me and Milton have big plans for this team." - Donte Ingram
Milton Doyle finished with 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists to help lead Loyola to victory. The offense was able to establish a presence early and continued to flow through the senior guard.
Doyle commented post game on his strong team play, "Find different ways to help the team, with different looks." It is easy to fall back and rely too much on Doyle but his play against Northern Iowa boosted his teammates performance big time.
Arguably no one benefited more than junior play-maker Donte Ingram. Ingram tallied his second career double-double with a game high 25 points and 10 boards and was able to find success from beyond the arc early on. When asked about his hot start Ingram had said, "I try to pick my open spots and find when I can be aggressive - if the opportunity presents itself I am going to take it."
The Simeon High School grad seized on his open looks while also spacing the floor. His 5-7 3-point shooting was complemented by a game high 10 rebounds over a much bigger Northern Iowa team.
- Lights out shooting for Loyola
The Ramblers shot 57.4% from the field and an eye popping 55.6% three point percentage for thegame. Even more impressive was the 68.4% (13-19) second half shooting to seal the deal. The dynamic backcourt of Clayton Custer and Ben Richardson was rock solid. Richardson put up 15 points and 5 assists making this the second time in three outings he's put up double figures.
Custer had his contribution knocking down back-to-back three balls in the second half run.
- Jeremy Morgan put on total shutdown
Coming into the Missouri Valley showdown the Ramblers had a close watch on UNI star Jeremy Morgan who is averaging 16.7 ppg. All eyes were on the pre-season MVC player of the year with a handful of NBA scouts in attendance. Morgan finished the night with a measly 7 points, shooting 2-7 from the field and going 0-3 from three.The Ramblers made a conscious effort to contain the fiery guard.
"Obviously Jeremy Morgan is a good player....they go as he goes and we tried to find ways to stop him," said Loyola's Donte Ingram. Loyola did a superb job keeping him closer to the paint and not letting his three point prowess open up the floor.
It's hard to find much to complain about defensively when a high scoring opponent is held to under 40% field goal shooting. This win will keep Loyola competitive in the conference.