Nevada Wolf Pack
Loyola-Chicago started off slow, falling to an early 20-10 deficit to Nevada, but took control of the game shortly thereafter. The Ramblers went on a run to take a 28-24 lead into halftime and kept pace from there. The Wolf Pack quickly fell to 10-point deficit to start the second half and was never able to recover, suffering a 69-68 loss in the Sweet Sixteen. Nevada tied the score at 59 with four minutes remaining to ensure the game had a wild finish, but Loyola showed poise on the biggest of stages, nailing a three-pointer with 6 seconds left to seal the game.
Nevada senior guard Kendall Stephens, one of the season’s best three-point shooters, went a meek 0-for-8 from behind the arc. With little-to-no threat from deep, the Ramblers were able to protect the rim and force tough shots. On the other end of the floor, Loyola could not be contained off the dribble and was able to drive consistently to the basket. While they didn’t attempt many threes, the Ramblers took efficient shots, finishing over 55% from the floor.
PLAYER OF THE GAME - Marques Townes
While the Martin twins made sure Nevada didn’t go down without a fight, Loyola-Chicago junior guards Marques Townes and Clayton Custer stole the show. Townes finished 6-of-10 from the floor with 18 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists, while Custer was 7-for-9 with 15 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. The duo were a headache for the Wolf Pack all night, making impressive plays on both ends of the floor.
Marques Townes earns the player of the game nod for his game-clinching three to put the Rambler up two possessions with six seconds remaining.