Late Eastern Illinois Rally Stuns Loyola, 65-61
Nov. 16, 2011
CHARLESTON, Ill. - Joey Miller's conventional three-point play with 53 seconds left broke a 60-60 tie and gave host Eastern Illinois (1-1) the lead for good in a 65-61 victory over Loyola University Chicago (0-3) tonight at Lantz Arena. Walt Gibler scored a team-high 15 points to lead the Ramblers, who were playing their third game in six days, all on the road, to open the season.
We are playing a lot of young guys who have just got to lean to win," Loyola Head Coach Porter Moser said. "That is on me. I can't ask for more from these guys as far as effort is concerned. We had the momentum and let it get away."
The Ramblers used a flurry of three-point field goals to jump out to an early lead, hitting 5 of 6 shots from beyond the arc to open up a 21-14 lead 11 minutes into the game. Denzel Brito himself accounted for three of Loyola's six first-half threes and tossed in 10 points in the opening 20 minutes.
However, Eastern Illinois closed the half on a 25-11 run, with Alfonzo McKinnie scoring 10 points during that half-closing run.
Loyola came out on fire in the second half and turned a nine-point deficit (44-35) into a 51-46 lead with 11:46 remaining. Five of the Ramblers' baskets in that 16-2 run were layups and five different players scored during that stretch.
EIU answered with seven straight points to take a 53-51 lead, but Ben Averkamp's basket 30 seconds later evened the game for the fifth time of the night. From there. The teams exchanged buckets until Miller's three-point play.
Gibler grabbed six boards to go with his 15 points, while Brito scored a career-best 13 points, Joe Crisman added a season-high 12 and Chim Kadima contributed a career-high 10 points in his first start of the year.
Alfonzo McKinnie scored 13 points to lead Eastern Illinois.
Loyola is back in action Sunday when it travels to Furman.