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Loyola did a lot of things right Friday and earned a 49-43 win over Mount Carmel.
Junior guard Jack Morrissey was pinpoint from the perimeter, connecting on six three-pointers for a game-high 20 points, and the Ramblers got more than enough stops on defense, limiting the Caravan to back-to-back baskets only once.
Even still, Loyola coach Tom Livatino held his team in the locker room for an unusually long time. Expectations are high this season, and Livatino will use any opportunity to teach, win or lose.
“Coach keeps pushing us to get better,” said Loyola senior guard Richie Wehman, who made his first start of the season after an ankle injury.
Morrissey’s basket at the 4:56 mark of the first quarter gave Loyola (11-5, 4-2 Catholic North) the lead for good. The Ramblers led 30-18 at the break, but the Caravan (7-9, 3-3) mounted a comeback in the third quarter, sparked by junior guard Christian Searles.
Poor rebounding and misses at the free throw line — Ramblers went 5-for-10 in fourth quarter — allowed Mount Carmel to make it interesting late in the fourth quarter.
“A point of emphasis for us has been to finish off games,” Wehman said. “We have to do a better job. But as long as we find a way to win, we are going to be happy.”
Mount Carmel junior forward Gabriel Grant scored with 18.1 seconds to play to leave the score 47-43 in favor of Loyola. Wehman then missed the front end of a one-and-one with 17.1 seconds to go, but the Caravan threw the ball out of bounds.
Loyola junior guard James Clarke iced the win with two free throws in the final seconds. He finished with 13 points.
“We made it a little more interesting than we needed to, but I am happy,” Livatino said.
Grant paced the Caravan with 13 points, while Searles added 12.
The win — the team’s fourth in a row — moves the Ramblers into second place alone in the conference. St. Ignatius came into Friday at 4-1 in league play. Loyola has two more conference games before playing the Wolfpack at home Feb. 1.