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Despite injuries, undefeated Loyola basketball off to strong start

Playing without departed standout Milton Doyle and plagued by injuries, Loyola knew it needed to get off to a strong start to build its confidence.

So far, so good.

“Even though the guys were confident, there was still a little bit of wait and see,” coach Porter Moser said. “Just to get a couple wins under our belt to start the season I think was huge for our confidence. It was huge for the guys to see that we can be better.”

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Loyola basketball coach Porter Moser. | Steve Woltmann/Courtesy of Loyola

After a 63-50 win Tuesday night over Mississippi Valley State, the Ramblers improved to 5-0. Led by Clayton Custer, Loyola is unbeaten despite a rash of injuries, the latest to guard Ben Richardson (broken hand) that will keep the senior leader out four to six weeks. Also, guard Adarius Avery is still out after offseason shoulder surgery.  And freshman forward Christian Negron just returned from a torn left ACL he suffered last fall.

But Moser won’t let his players use the injuries as an excuse.

“Everybody’s got to step up another notch,” Moser said. “We use it as almost like a rallying cry, like a mantra that ‘Hey, this is going to be strength in numbers’ and kind of firing us up instead of ‘poor us, we’ve got another injury.’ ”

The Ramblers play UNC Wilmington on Friday in Savannah, Georgia.

The proposed stadium that sits on the Lincoln Yards.

USL coming?

Developer Sterling Bay announced plans Tuesday to put a United Soccer League team into its proposed stadium that sits on the Lincoln Yards site of a potential home for Amazon’s Chicago campus.

The team would begin play in the 2020 season in the USL, which is on the second tier of the United States soccer pyramid, one level below MLS.

“We are very excited to bring a new professional soccer team to Chicago, giving families, residents and visitors access to an exciting and affordable professional sports experience right here at Lincoln Yards,” Sterling Bay managing principal Andy Gloor said in a statement. “We know there are countless soccer fans in Chicago who will come to cheer the new USL team in a new stadium along our beautiful riverfront.”

Chicago’s Final Four

North Park University will face the University of Chicago in the Division III men’s soccer Final Four on Dec. 1 in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Vikings (20-1-1)
advanced to the Final Four with a 1-0 win Sunday over the University of St. Thomas.

The Maroons (19-2-1) advanced after defeating Emory University 5-3 in a shootout in the quarterfinal Saturday.

Follow me on Twitter @BrianSandalow.