The Ramblers couldn’t overcome a tall road task on Thursday night as they fell to the Panthers, 76-66.
How it Happened:
The Ramblers jumped out to a lead in the first quarter. They led 15-14 just before the end of the first quarter. Although the Ramblers trimmed the deficit back to 2 with 2:32 left in the second quarter, that would be the closest that they would get. Milwaukee pounded the ball inside to their post players starting in the second half after the LUC Coaching Staff went small — subbing in Kira Chivers for Julia Hoefling. Milwaukee started the second half on a 9-0 run. Head Coach Allison Guth said, “I was disappointed in how we came out [in the second half]. We wanted to go faster, so we went smaller.” The Panthers used a steady dose of paint points and free throws to keep the Ramblers at bay. The Panthers were 20-21 from the free throw line, and they scored 36 paint points. After the 9-0 run the Panthers had to start the second half, the Ramblers were able to find the bottom of the net. Maya Chandler kept the Ramblers in the game with some aggressive drives to the hoop. She was able to get to the free throw line where she scored 7 of her 13 points. In the fourth quarter, Loyola showed a lot of fight and heart. Anna Brown and Kira Chivers in particular showed no quit. Chivers had 5 points, and 2 sweet assists in the last 4 minutes, while Brown scored 7 points in the last 69 seconds in order to set her new career high of 17 points.
Maya Chandler impressed me in the third quarter. When open jump shots weren’t falling for the Ramblers, Chandler decided to drive to try to create offense. She got to the paint and either made a shot or got to the free throw line on three straight possessions, scoring 7 straight points for the Ramblers. That aggressive mindset should lead to more opportunities for her at the free throw line and open up shooting chances for her teammates. Kira Chivers continues to impress in her freshman season. She has assumed the backup point guard role, and plays full court pressure defense more often than not. She’s incredibly fun to watch. Anna Brown does a little bit of everything for the Ramblers. She often was holding her own on defense playing against women taller than her. She is a deadly three point shooter. And she was diving on the court for loose balls. Her development this year will be crucial for Loyola.
Emma Nolan and Julia Hoefling both played their first games of the season after missing the season opener with injuries. The big woman rotation is still a work in process, but the Nolan twins, Hoefling and Tanin all seem to be competing for that role. Tanin has been the most successful to this point, but has been in early foul trouble both games this year. The big woman rotation might take some time to figure out, but they have the talent to be a productive group. Alternatively, Maddie Scarborough was out and did not dress for the game due to undisclosed reasons.
Who is Next:
Loyola will have their home opener this Wednesday, November 16th at 6 PM. They play Virginia, who has started the season 2-0. They knocked off fellow A10 member George Washington in their opener 85-59.