Jan. 20, 2013
CHICAGO - Ben Averkamp and Christian Thomas each tallied a double-double, and Joe Crisman scored five of his eight points in overtime, as Loyola University Chicago (11-7) broke a four-game slide with a 66-63 victory over host Chicago State (6-15) in overtime tonight at the Jones Convocation Center. Four of Loyola's last five games have been decided by three points or less and tonight's win gives the Ramblers 10 wins over non-conference opponents for just the fifth time in school history and first since 2006-07.
"This wasn't an easy game, to come into this atmosphere here," Loyola head coach Porter Moser said. "It was as physical a game as we have played all year and was an absolute war. I'm really proud of our guys. We needed a stop and got one. These are the kind of games that can be turning points for you."
After struggling to get into the flow of the game at UIC on Wednesday night, Loyola got off to a fast start tonight, scoring the first nine points, while focusing on pounding the ball inside. A basket by Devon Turk with 9:21 left in the period was the first points recorded by a guard and gave the Ramblers their largest lead of the half, 21-6.
Chicago State slowly chipped away at the lead and got within five points (27-22) before Loyola closed out the half by scoring six consecutive points as it took a 33-22 lead into the locker room. Thomas had a monster first period, totaling nine points and seven rebounds to power the Ramblers, who knocked down 50 percent (12 for 24) of their first-half field goal attempts.
A three-pointer by Cully Payne, his only basket of the night, with 17:45 left in regulation, gave the Ramblers a 38-24 advantage, their largest of the second half. Loyola led by 12 points with just over nine minutes remaining but recorded only two field goals the remainder of the period, and Quinton Pippen's three-pointer with 49 seconds left evened the score at 57.
Following a Rambler turnover, Chicago State missed a pair of jumpers in the waning seconds to force overtime.
Crisman came up big in the extra session and when he converted a three-point play a minute and a half in, gave Loyola a 62-59 lead it would never relinquish. With the Ramblers clinging to a one-point (64-63) lead with seven seconds left, Crisman calmly drained a pair of foul shots to extend the lead to three and Pippen's three-point try from the left wing bounded off the rim as time expired to allow Loyola to escape with the victory.
Averkamp, who went for 21 points and 10 rebounds in last year's meeting with Chicago State, finished with 18 points and 11 boards tonight. Thomas notched his third double-double of the season with 12 points and a career-high-tying 13 rebounds, and Jordan Hicks totaled 13 points for his first double-digit output since December 1.
Jeremy Robinson led Chicago State with 16 points.
The Ramblers jump right back into Horizon League play and close out a three-game road swing when they visit Cleveland State Wednesday night (Jan. 23).