Chicago’s Doyle leads Loyola to 70-60 comeback win over Drake
BY TONI GINNETTI Staff Reporter January 15, 2014 9:06PM
Updated: January 15, 2014 9:53PM
Loyola freshman Milton Doyle has become his team’s scoring leader, with 28 points Wednesday to lead the Ramblers to a 70-60 comeback victory over Drake.
But the outcome was as much about Doyle’s defense, coach Porter Moser said.
``Milton knows he’s a big part of this team,’’ he said of the Chicago native and Marshall grad. ``Obviously the shots are big—but our second half defense has been an Achilles heel. And tonight Milton was helping direct traffic. His leadership in directing the defense was big.’’
Drake, the second best three-point shooting team in the Missouri Valley Conference, made 10 of its 21 three point attempts in the game, and used that skill to lead through the first half.
But Doyle’s jumper with two seconds remaining before intermission tied the game at 32-32.
``It gave us some momentum going into the second half,’’ Doyle said.
Doyle scored 19 of his 28 in the second half, leading four Ramblers in double figures, including sophomore Devon Turk (14) and junior Christian Thomas and sophomore Jeff White (each with 10).
``The coaches told us to stay together, and we didn’t have any mental breakdowns,’’ Doyle said.
Loyola (7-10, 2-3 Missouri Valley Conference) trailed until 8:44 remained in the game. White converted a three-point play to give the Ramblers their first lead at 52-51 and start a closing 21-9 run.
``I think our guys were surprised at our message at the half,’’ Moser said. ``I was proud of their effort because Drake is a hard team to guard, and they were hitting their threes. But I was disappointed at our energy level.
``We switched to a zone [in the second half]—but we didn’t play it as a `resting defense.’ We played it at a high energy.
``Devon’s threes in the first half [3-for-7 off the bench] kept us in striking distance, and it was great to see us get contributions from more guys,’’ Moser added, singling out sophomore forward Nick Osborne’s six rebounds and six points off the bench.
Senior guard Richard Carter had 19 points for Drake, which lost its fourth straight in falling to 10-7 overall and 1-4 in conference play.