Loyola fell to a tragic 47-17 difference at the half in Wednesday’s contest with the DePaul Blue Demons, but did not decide to call it quits and ride out the game for the second half of play. Instead, senior captain Walt Gibler took charge down the stretch and had his leadership resonate with his fellow Ramblers.
“We need to treat every game like an important game..we need to come out and play 40 minutes, not just 20 minutes,” said the 6’7″ senior forward. In the twenty minutes that Loyola decided to show up in, their play was phenomenal. As a team they shot a staggering 58.6% from the field for a total of 41 points with Walt carrying much of the load, scoring 21 of his 29 points in the second period.
Not only was Gibler scoring, but the way in which he went about getting the much needed points was the true testament to his basketball prowess. In the final ten minutes of the game it was evident Gibler was anxious to get the ball in his hands and make a move towards the basket. He had a total of eight post scores that were over bigger, stronger DePaul players as well as converting three drives for three point plays.
Porter Moser also liked Gibler’s tenacity in the second half. “Walt had a fire in his belly. Played with passion.” It was easily discerned from his composure that Gibler wanted to take control and lead the team.
On the defensive side, Gibler grabbed eight rebounds with one steal. At 4:03 mark in the last half, he also drew an offensive on DePaul Blue Demon forward Jamee Crockett to keep the Ramblers an inch more of hope. The subsequent play, a 3-ball by Joe Crisman (14 points) cut a one time 28 point DePaul lead to an honest 12 point margin.
Walt Giler addressed the team’s struggles and outlook for the remainder of the season.”We need to calm down and get our heads into it,” “Can’t take anyone for granted.”
Regardless the opponent an their level of play, a 1-7 team like Loyola must respect every opponent and make getting victories their number one priority.