First-Half Run Sends No. 4/3 Wichita State Past Loyola, 57-45
Jan. 28, 2014
Wichita, Kan. - Cleanthony Early scored a game-high 23 points and No. 4/3 Wichita State closed the first half on a 14-2 run and held off a second-half push from Loyola in a 57-45 win over the Ramblers tonight in front of a partisan crowd of 10,506 at Koch Arena. Loyola drops to 8-13 (3-6 MVC) while the Shockers remain unbeaten, moving to 22-0 (9-0) with the win.
Loyola struggled to find the basket in the early going, getting good looks but were unable to convert. Wichita State edged out to a 12-4 lead but the Ramblers were able to hang around, using a Jeff White basket and a three from Devon Turk to get back within six (16-10) with 11:19 left. The teams traded six-point scoring runs to get to 22-16 at the 5:36 mark before the Shockers went on their run. Nick Wiggins hit two free throws and buried a long three-pointer to push the lead back to double figures before Early scored five straight points as the lead grew to 20 (36-16) before a Nick Osborne basket made it a 36-18 game at halftime. Loyola shot just 28% (7 of 25) in the period while WSU connected at a 50% clip.
After Wichita State bumped the lead back to 22 after threes from Early and Ron Baker, Loyola began to tighten up defensively and it helped its offense loosen up. Two Doyle baskets and another from Osborne made it a 13-point spread at the 6:04 mark and Loyola held the Shockers to just one field goal over a 9:45 span to make a game of it. Doyle scored again in transition to cut the deficit to 10 and, after an Early basket, the freshman converted a three-point play to make it a 52-43 game with 2:27 left. That would prove to be as close as the Ramblers would get as the home team was able to see out the win.
After being held to just two points in the first half, Doyle poured in 14 in the second period to finish with a team-high 16 for the game. Turk added eight points and three steals while Osborne pitched in with seven points and eight boards in 34 minutes off the bench. Early led the Shockers with 23 points.
Loyola wraps up its two-game road swing with a 3 p.m. game on Saturday afternoon at Southern Illinois.