Senior guard Milton Doyle scored 21 points Friday as Loyola pulled away from Alcorn State for a 69-44 win in its season opener. The Ramblers trailed early in the second half but used a 17-0 run to take command.
“We didn’t panic tonight and that was one of the things I liked most,” coach Porter Moser said after the game. “Our message at the half was to stay the course. I was pleased with our energy level in the first half, we just couldn’t knock down shots. In the second half, we did a better job defensively and allowed our defense to create offense.”
Doyle, a preseason all-conference honorable mention, shot 7-of-11 from the field and added six assists. The senior will finish his collegiate career averaging 18 points and 3.5 dimes in season openers.
With Loyola trailing 35-33 with 14:19 remaining, Iowa State transfer Clayton Custer connected on a 3-pointer to begin the 17-0 run. His trey a few minutes later gave the Ramblers a 50-35 lead.
Custer started at point guard and recorded 10 points and six assists in his Loyola debut. 6’5” junior Aundre Jackson also had an impressive debut with the Ramblers, going for 14 points and six rebounds. Junior wing Donte Ingram added 11 points and 7 boards.
Alcorn State received a double-double from senior forward Marquis Vance in the first half alone. Vance recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds in the opening 20 minutes but did not score in the second half. The Braves finished with only 17 points in the second period as the offense stalled.
“We have to continue to get better, learn from our mistakes and play a full 40 minutes,” coach Montez Robinson said.
Loyola begins a rare back-to-back, albeit against non-Division I opponents, on Sunday when IU Northwest comes to Gentile Arena.