The Loyola Ramblers took the victory in a rematch versus the Northern Iowa Panthers in the Arch Madness semifinal round by a score of 66-43. The Rambler defense kept their intensity as they advance to the finals for the third time in five years and look to repeat as champions. Here are three observations from the win:
Clamping down on defense
Exactly a week removed from allowing 102 points by the Panthers, the Rambler defense flipped the script. They held the Panthers to just a 23.2 percent clip throughout, along with an abysmal 16.7 percent from beyond the arc. Their 23 points in the first half was their lowest first half score of the year to set up their lowest scoring game all season. The Ramblers excelled in keeping the MVC Player of the Year AJ Green off of the scoresheet. Green led the Panthers with 13 points, but required 20 shots to do so. The Rambler defense held the Panthers scoreless for the final fifteen minutes of the game, holding the Panthers to an 0-16 clip in the final stages
Braden Norris continues to shine against UNI
Last week in Cedar Falls, redshirt Braden Norris came just two assists short from a triple-double, with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Norris put together another impressive showing, leading the Ramblers with 19 points. The guard was a key piece in the Ramblers’ victory, leading the team in both field goals and three pointers made, going 4-6 from beyond the arc.
A tale of two halves
The Ramblers stormed ahead in the first half, shooting 51.6 percent enroute to a 16 point lead at halftime. Yet the Ramblers struggled to keep up the intensity and seemed to take their foot off of the gas for a bit. The team shot just 28 percent from the field and looked to open the door for the Panthers. The Ramblers were able to reclaim their figure, going on a late run to secure the win. Senior Ryan Schwieger and junior Marquise Kennedy were bright spots in the second half, scoring 7 and 6 points respectively.
The Ramblers will face either Missouri State or Drake in the final round tomorrow at 1 PM on CBS Sports Network.