Jan. 5, 2014
CHICAGO - Loyola used a 16-6 run late in the first half to open up a lead and put the game away with a 22-2 spurt midway through the second half, earning its first-ever Missouri Valley Conference win with an 89-57 win over Missouri State today inside Gentile Arena. The Ramblers move to 6-8 (1-1 MVC) while Missouri State slides to 11-3 (1-1) with the loss.
A three-point play from Cody Johnson helped stake Loyola to the early lead and the Ramblers opened up a seven-point advantage (18-11) on a Jeff White basket at the 9:28 mark. Missouri State's Marcus Marshall answered with a three-point play to cut the lead to four before Devon Turk took over, accounting for 10 points in the 16-6 run that gave LU a 34-20 lead with 2:47 left in the half. Missouri State was able to stem the tide momentarily but Johnson scored again inside in the final minute to send the Ramblers to the locker room with a 42-28 halftime lead. Turk came off the bench to lead all scorers with 15 points (3-5 3FGs, 6-6 FTs) in the opening period as Loyola shot 54% from the floor.
Turk was fouled and knocked down all three charity tosses to open the second half and the lead ballooned to 19 (47-28) on a Joe Crisman lay-up just over two minutes into the half. Missouri State was able to chip away and the Bears were within 12 (60-48) after a Devon Thomas steal and basket. However, White fed Christian Thomas for a basket and Turk followed with a transition three-pointer to bump the lead back to 17 and the Ramblers rolled from there, leading by as many as 34 down the stretch.
Turk was fantastic on the offensive end, pouring in a career-high 30 points on just nine field goal attempts. The Houston native finished 6-of-9 from the floor, including 5-of-8 from distance, and knocked down all 13 of his free throws to become the second Rambler to score 30 or more in a game this season (Milton Doyle, 32 vs. Campbell).
He was one of five Ramblers to score in double figures and was joined by Doyle (13 points, five assists), White (11 points), Johnson (10 points) and Thomas (10 points).
Loyola looks to string together consecutive MVC home wins on Wednesday night when the Ramblers host Southern Illinois at Gentile Arena. Tip is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.