When a team doesn’t shoot well, doesn’t rebound well and doesn’t shoot free throws very well there is a pretty good chance they are not going to win that night and that describes Loyola in their loss to UIC in the quarterfinals 60-49.
Loyola (12-19) shot a poor 38.3 percent (18-47), only made 56.3 percent (9-16) and then got killed on the boards 36-20.
UIC (18-14) was not world-beaters either shooting just 36.2 percent (17-47) including just 3-15 from 3-point land but that rebounding margin and shooting 88.5 percent (23-26) from the free throw line providing them with their winning margin.
“It wasn’t pretty according to some bystanders and some of the people I talked to after the game, but it was a win for us and it was a win that was hard-fought, especially in the first half,“ according to UIC coach Jimmy Collins.
In the first half there were eight lead changes and five ties before Loyola’s Tracy Robinson hit a jumper with :53 left to put Loyola up 21-19 at the half. At that point the rebounding edge by UIC was small at 14-11.
In the second half all heck broke lose as both teams clunked shot after shot but the Flames creamed Loyola in rebounding 22-9.
Loyola coach Jim Whitesell pointed to the bad shooting and the poor rebounding of his team as big factors in the loss.
“”Give them a lot of credit, I don’t think either of us shot it great. Sometimes you have to get the extras like offensive rebounds,” said Whitesell. “That’s what they did. They didn’t shoot it well but they got some extra boards to make up for it. In a game like this, if you get two shots at a basket or three sometimes it gets you going.”
UIC helped keep Loyola off balance by frequently switching defenses from zone to man to man.
“It was a team effort. The coaches did a good job of switching us from zone to man to zone and we were able to contain them,” explained UIC player Josh Mayo who led all scorers with 17 points.
Robinson led Loyola with 15 points.
-UIC leads the all-time series with Loyola 29-13.
-There was no 3-point shootout between students of UIC and Loyola because there weren’t any at the game. I think there may have been three UIC students but I didn’t see any Loyola students.
-UIC plays Butler Saturday night at about 7:30 p.m.