Loyola dominates IU Northwest to move to 2-0

CHICAGO — Loyola used a handful of double-digit scoring runs Sunday to cruise past IU-Northwest with a 100-51 win. Coach Porter Moser emptied his bench as the game got out of hand, using the entirety of his 17-man roster, and 15 different players scored.

Here are five takeaways from the lopsided afternoon.

Photo: Jesse Kramer / thecatchandshoot.com
Photo: Jesse Kramer / thecatchandshoot.com

Milton Doyle looks and feels comfortable.

The biggest concern for Loyola entering the season was how comfortable senior guard Milton Doyle would be following a pair of good but underwhelming seasons where he battled injuries. The former MVC Freshman and Newcomer of the Year has looked stellar through two games, albeit against weak competition.

“This is the best I’ve ever felt,” Doyle said. “I’m moving good, so I can make some better plays this year.”

Doyle’s outside shot was off Sunday as he made only 1-of-4 from beyond the arc, but he still mustered up 13 points, using his quickness to get ahead of defenders and draw fouls. He made all six of his free throws.

Doyle also finished with four rebounds and a game-high five assists.

“He’s had the best April through October of his career,” Moser said. “Just like anything in life, the more you put into it, the more you get out.”

The only uncomfortable part of Doyle’s performance was a missed dunk-turned layup attempt in the first half.

“I think I just lost my footing,” Doyle said with a laugh. “My shoe kind of came off.”

Photo: Jesse Kramer / thecatchandshoot.com
Photo: Jesse Kramer / thecatchandshoot.com

Big 12 transfer chemistry.

Doyle came to Loyola from Kansas and Clayton Custer played his first year of college hoops at Iowa State. The duo showed why Power 5 schools once coveted them.

Loyola was on fire to start the second half as Doyle took control. In the opening five minutes of the period, the 6-foot-4 guard recorded five assists, not to mention two points, three rebounds and lockdown defense.

“A lot of young players, they put all their eggs in their shooting basket,” Moser said. “They think they’re playing good or bad based on if they’re making shots. Milt’s one of those rare guys that can dominate a game without taking a shot.”

Custer was the cashier on four of Doyle’s assists, helping him reach his game-high 22 points.

“Milt did all the work,” Custer said. “I just kind of had to catch it and put it in. So he made the game really easy for me today. I owe him dinner tonight.”

Entering the season, Custer told The Catch and Shoot that he considers himself a true point guard but feels comfortable taking on a larger scoring role as well. That proved true Sunday as the Iowa State transfer dropped points in bunches during 19 minutes two days after dishing out six assists against Alcorn State.

Matt Chastain has a touch of UNI guard Jeremy Morgan in him.

This is not a perfect comparison, but it was my initial reaction while watching Chastain play for the first time.

Chastain is taller, more athletic, and a worse ball handler than Morgan, the MVC Preseason Player of the Year.

But like Morgan, Chastain is a two-way player who brings significant value defensively and on the boards. He also has a respectable outside shot.

Remember that although Morgan is now an all-conference player, those same qualities are what he brought to the table during his first two seasons at Northern Iowa.

Chastain finished Sunday’s game with five points, five rebounds and two blocks. His biggest block of the night got wiped from the box score as teammate Bruno Skokna took a charge on the play.

All the walk-ons scored!

Byron Burt led the group with six points, coming on two 3-pointers. Glorind Lisha dropped in a runner in the lane. Jake Baughman, Cameron Woodyard and Nick DiNardi also had two points apiece.

“We got some really good players,” Custer said of the guys at the end of the bench. “They looked pretty comfortable out there, too.”

The only players who did not score Sunday were scholarship athletes Maurice Kirby and Tyson Smith. But even they had a positive impact in the box score. Kirby had four rebounds and two assists while Smith contributed a pair of dimes.

Loyola is 2-0 for the third straight year.

And in all likelihood, Loyola will move to 3-0 for the first time since the 2010-11 season after tomorrow’s game against Eureka.

However, 2010 was also the last time Loyola won its first two games against Division I opponents. The Ramblers will need to beat St. Joe’s at the Paradise Jam next weekend to match that.

Author: Jesse Kramer

Jesse Kramer is the founder of The Catch and Shoot. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He has had work featured on SI.com, College Insider, The Comeback/Awful Announcing, and 247Sports.

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