ST. LOUIS -
Loyola University Chicago (18-14) committed an uncharacteristic 20 turnovers and shot just 27 percent (15-for-55) from the field and ultimately came up short in a 55-50 loss to No. 4 seed Southern Illinois (17-15) this afternoon in the quarterfinal round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Ben Richardson scored a team-high 16 points to lead the Ramblers, who came into the game ranked 11th in the nation in field goal percentage at 49.2 percent.
Coach Moser's Thoughts
""Southern Illinois played terrific defense, as good as we've seen all year. We had some opportunities and had a lot of unforced turnovers in the first half which was uncharacteristic of us."
How It Happened
Both teams got off to slow starts as Loyola turned the ball over eight times in its first 13 possessions, while Southern Illinois coughed the ball up five times in the first eight minutes.
Ben Richardson (10 points) and Clayton Custer (7) supplied nearly all of the Ramblers' offense in the first half as they accounted for 17 of the team's 20 points. A Richardson free throw, followed by a pair of free tosses from Custer pushed Loyola's lead to 17-12, its largest of the period, with 7:12 remaining, but the Salukis would outscore the Ramblers 11-3 the rest of the half to take a 23-20 lead into the break.
Loyola, which did a great job on Sean O'Brien in the first half, holding him scoreless, kept the Salukis in check, limiting them to 9 of 26 shooting from the field and 2 of 9 from three-point land. Offensively, the Ramblers couldn't get much going as they committed an uncharacteristic 14 turnovers and shot just 27 percent (6 for 22) from the field in the first half.
Southern Illinois opened the second half on an 11-5 run to stretch its lead to 34-25, but a three from Richardson and back-to-back baskets from Donte Ingram gave Loyola seven unanswered points and cut the deficit to 34-32. However, SIU responded with a baseline dunk from Thik Bol and a three-pointer form Mike Rodriguez to push the lead back to seven (39-32).
Loyola would get as close as four (39-35) on an ensuing three from Cameron Satterwhite, but back-to-back treys from Sean Lloyd and Leo Vincent extended SIU's lead back to double digits.
A Look At The Numbers
- Ben Richardson knocked down five three-pointers en route to his team-high 16 points..
- Donte Ingram added 11 points and a career-best 12 boards, while Clayton Custer tossed in 12 points.
- Milton Doyle ripped down 10 rebounds and dished out four assists but was held to just five points, all of which came in the final minute of the game, on 1 of 9 shooting.
- Mike Rodriguez scored 16 points to lead SIU.
Loyola will await its postseason fate, which will be announced at a later date.