Loyola put on an offensive clinic Saturday in a 72-56 win against Milwaukee. The Ramblers shot 67.5% from the field while senior guard Milton Doyle and junior forward Aundre Jackson had near-perfect afternoons.
Doyle scored a season-high 22 points along with 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks and a steal. Jackson scored 21 points on 9-of-9 shooting, a program record for field-goal percentage. His only blemishes were a pair of second-half turnovers.
Doyle shot 9-of-10 from the field and was not the most efficient scorer on the floor. That’s one way to know your team had a good day.
“I don’t know what I’m going to tell them: do it again next game,” coach Porter Moser said after the game. “Dre’s been like that, and I thought Milt was just letting it come to him. He wasn’t forcing.”
While Loyola (9-2) shot the lights out in the first half, Milwaukee came close to matching the effort. The Panthers (4-6) shot 52% from the field in the opening stanza and trailed 44-33 at the break.
The Ramblers remained efficient offensively and tightened up their defense in the second half to pull away. At one point, they hit 11 straight field goals.
“I thought our second-half defense was really good and was the key to the game,” Moser said. “We just couldn’t get any stops in the first half. Milton played really well and was locked in today. He had a great game.”
Loyola has now won four straight games and takes its winning streak to crosstown rival UIC next Saturday.
—Lost in Doyle and Jackson’s great performances, junior guard Clayton Custer also turned in a strong outing with 12 points and 5 assists.
—Jackson has made 25 of his last 27 field goal attempts dating back to Nov. 30 against Norfolk State. At 78.2%, he holds the nation’s second-best true shooting percentage, trailing only Kenneth Ogbe of Utah Valley.
—With Loyola’s depth, Doyle has not received much attention after being a preseason all-conference honorable mention. However, Doyle has quietly put up impressive numbers and is now averaging 14.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists while shooting 50.9% from the field and 37.5% from three.
—Loyola’s rivalry game has the potential to be the best meeting in recent memory. While UIC has struggled this season with a 4-4 record, the Flames have tons of young talent and a bright future. KenPom stats currently have Loyola as a 3-point favorite.
—Junior forward Donte Ingram, who suffered an MCL injury on Nov. 30, has an outside chance of returning for the UIC game. Ingram was initially ruled our for 4-6 weeks, which would have put him on the bench until at least the start of conference play.
—After Saturday’s game, KenPom projects Loyola to go 19-12 with a 9-9 MVC record. Loyola has not won 20 regular season games since the 2006-07 season.