CHICAGO, Ill. - Loyola used a second-half rally to lead by as many as 14 points in defeating the Drake University men’s basketball team, 70-60, in the first meeting between the two programs at Missouri Valley Conference foes Wednesday night at Gentile Arena.
Drake (10-7, 1-4 MVC) was led by Richard Carter’s (Detroit, Mich.) 19 points and five assists while Aaron Hawley (Rogers, Ark.) added 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Freshman center Jacob Enevold Jensen (Lunderskov, Denmark) hauled in a game-high 11 rebounds.
Loyola (7-10, 2-3 MVC) shot 60 percent in the second half to outscore the Bulldogs 25-9 in the final 12 minutes of the game. Standout freshman Milton Doyle recorded 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting for the homestanding Ramblers.
“You’ve got to be able to get stops and we weren’t able to get stops tonight,” said Drake head coach Ray Giacoletti. “Teams that get stops, especially in crunch time, are teams that win games.”
Unfortunately stops were few and far between in those final 12 minutes as a 17-1 run from Loyola turned a 6-point, 51-45, Drake lead into a 62-52 deficit in a span of seven minutes. A three-point play from Carter briefly culled the Loyola rally, but Doyle answered with two of his four three-pointers on the evening to help Loyola take a 14-point, 70-56, lead with less than two minutes left in the game.
Drake opened the game much differently with a quick 9-2 lead behind the scoring of Carter and Jordan Daniels (Fontana, Calif.). The Bulldogs eventually built that lead up to eight points, 22-14, on a Blake Danielak (Georgetown, Texas) three-pointer with 7:45 left in the half. But, a 6-0 Loyola run quickly followed to pull the Ramblers within two points the first of three times before LU finally tied the game just inside the 3-minute mark. Four straight points, including a Doyle jumper as time wound down in the period tied the game at 32-32 heading into halftime.
Drake opened the second half in much the same fashion and extended its lead to as many as six points twice, both on Hawley buckets with the last coming on a three-pointer with 12:35 left to go up 51-45. However, Loyola answered with a 7-0 run to take their first lead of the game, 52-51, with 8:44 left in the contest. That spurt was the start of the eventual 17-1 rally that put the contest out of Drake’s reach for good for in the Bulldogs’ fourth straight loss.
“At some point we have to become so tired of losing that we need find something within ourselves that is different than what you’ve ever felt before,” Giacoletti said. “That’s where I’m at right now and we’ll keep fighting.”
Drake will attempt to get back in the win column on Saturday when it hosts Illinois State at the Knapp Center. Tipoff against the Redbirds is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with the contest being broadcast on Mediacom MC22 and CSN Chicago. ISU travels to Des Moines at 10-7 overall and 3-2 in the MVC after defeating Evansville in overtime, 79-78, on Wednesday.