Rapid Reaction: Loyola 78, UIC 69

CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at Loyola’s 78-69 win over Illinois-Chicago Flames on Saturday.

How it happened: Loyola jumped on the Flames from the start. The Ramblers built a 20-6 lead in the first eight minutes and later extended it to as many as 16 points in the second half. Where Loyola excelled Saturday (and had struggled in previous games) was getting everyone involved. During its hot start, the Ramblers used six different scorers to add up to 20 points. They finished with five players in double figures.

What it means: Loyola finally won its first Horizon League game after opening conference play with 13 consecutive losses. The Ramblers also avenged an earlier road loss to crosstown rival UIC. For the Flames, it was their second difficult defeat in a row. They were coming off a 70-42 loss to Cleveland State Vikings. The two teams appear as if they’re going to fill the bottom two spots of the conference. Loyola is in last place with a 1-13 record and UIC is just ahead of it with a 3-11 mark. Both programs are still in rebuilding mode with coaches in their first and second years.

Outside the box: Loyola first-year coach Porter Moser had asked his players how they wanted to finish the season multiple times leading up to Saturday’s game. “Are we going to be a team that packs it in?” Moser said earlier in the week. His players responded on Saturday.

Player of the game: Loyola’s Jordan Hicks is looking more and more like his old self after breaking his foot in back-to-back seasons. He had 15 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals against UIC.

UIC player of the game: Daniel Barnes showed why he’s one of the top shooters in the Horizon League. He made three 3-pointers and finished with 15 points.

What’s next: Loyola heads to Butler on Tuesday. UIC travels to first-place Valparaiso on Tuesday.