Last season’s home opener was quite the spectacle, with Sheldon Edwards draining a buzzer-beater to send the game into overtime. This year was no different, with the Loyola Ramblers putting on quite the show as they routed the EIU Panthers by a score of 89-65. The Ramblers now sit at an even 1-1 on the year, as they had many positives to look at in the game. Here are three of them:
Des Watson can ball
Davidson transfer Des Watson was everywhere tonight, making an instant impact in his Gentile Arena debut. The junior virtually could not miss, posting an 8-11 clip from the field to set a new career-high with 24 points. Although not known as a three-point shooter (27 percent clip at Davidson last year), the guard collected an absurd six treys in eight attempts.
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It wasn’t just on offense that Watson shined. He also dished out two assists, and collected three rebounds while also putting forward one of the Ramblers’ many blocks of the night.
A Rambler victory of old
Tonight’s win resembled, in a way, the Ramblers’ great tournament teams of recent years. The team shot the ball immensely well, posting a 60% clip from the field, with Watson’s heroics leading them to a 38% number from beyond the arc. Defensively, the Ramblers had the same intensity, if not more, holding the Panthers to a 34.8% clip from the field, not yielding a three-pointer until almost the midway point of the second half.
We’re here for the block party
The Ramblers came out tonight with tremendous defensive intensity. They utilized their size to not allow the Panthers many chances offensively. One of the ways they did this was with 9 blocks in the game. Six different players recorded a block in the affair, with freshman standout Miles Rubin leading the charge with 4.
The Ramblers now turn their attention to Tuesday’s match, where they take on city rivals UIC with a 7 p.m. tipoff on NBC Sports Chicago.