Ramblers pull away for 76-66 win over UE men


Taylor notches another 20-point game 

Gary, Indiana native Ryan Taylor scored a game-high 27 points but Marques Townes and Clayton Custer combined for 39 tallies to help Loyola earn a 76-66 win over the University of Evansville men’s basketball team at the Ford Center on Sunday.

Taylor hit 10 of his 23 attempts to score his 27.  It comes on the heels of a 26-point game on Tuesday at UNI.  K.J. Riley was next for UE (16-13, 6-10 MVC) with seven tallies.  For the second game in a row, Blake Simmons was the top rebounder, posting eight.

“In the second half, it seemed like they raised their level of intensity, especially on the defensive end,” Aces head coach Marty Simmons said.  “When they are pressuring like they were, we have to attack more off the dribble.  Defensively when we give up 49, you are not going to beat many teams.  They scored too much in transition, which is something we really emphasized with our guys.”

Pacing Loyola (23-5, 13-3 MVC) was Marques Townes with 22 points while Custer finished with 17.  Donte Ingram scored 14 while Aundre Jackson added 12.  With the win, the Ramblers clinch at least a share of the MVC regular-season title.

Nine lead changes took place in the first half with the Purple Aces taking a 28-27 lead into the break.  Loyola opened the day with a triple before a pair of Ryan Taylor buckets gave UE its first lead at 4-3.

Neither team led by more than a possession until Taylor’s first long ball of the game gave the Aces a 20-16 lead with just under six minutes remaining.  Back-to-back treys from Evan Kuhlman put the UE lead up to 23-18.  The offense of the Ramblers pushed them right back into the game.  Marques Townes, who posted 11 in the half, connected on his fifth field goal of the game with 29 ticks remaining to give them a 27-26 lead.

On the other end, John Hall put Evansville right back in the lead with a layup with three seconds left to send UE to the half up 28-27.  The Ramblers connected on their last five shots of the half.

In the second half, the squads swapped the lead seven more times, all coming in the first eight minutes of the stanza.  With 11:19 remaining, Cameron Satterwhite put Loyola in front for good with a pair of free throws that made it a 45-43 game.  They quickly pushed the lead to six, but a tenacious Aces squad kept fighting back.

Taylor knocked down a 3-pointer at the midway point of the half before a K.J. Riley free throw got UE within two at 49-47.  Five in a row by the Ramblers saw their lead grow to seven, but UE once again cut the deficit to two when Noah Frederking hit a pair of free throws with 6:21 left.

With the Ramblers clinging to a 60-57 lead, Donte Ingram nailed a triple with 4:06 on the clock to push the lead to six.  From there, they were able to add some late free throws to pull away for the 76-66 win.

A huge difference in the second half came in the shooting effort for Loyola as they hit 70% of their attempts in the final 20 minutes to finish the game at 58.1%.  Evansville shot 43.4%.  The Ramblers also finished the game with a 31-22 edge on the boards.

The final week of the regular season is here for the Purple Aces, who travel to Terre Haute on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game at Indiana State.  On Saturday, UE wraps up its home slate against Southern Illinois at 1 p.m.