Dec. 22, 2008
CHICAGO - Four players scored in double figures to lead Loyola University Chicago (7-5) to an 89-65 victory over visiting SIU-Edwardsville (2-9) this afternoon at the Gentile Center. The win extends the Ramblers' streak to three games and it also was their fourth consecutive victory at the Gentile Center. Loyola, which shot a blistering 59 percent (38 for 64) from the field, notched its most points since an 89-45 win over Saint Mary's (Minn.) on Dec. 29, 2007.
Mark Yelovich drained a pair of free throws 11:30 into the first half to give the visiting Cougars a 20-19 lead before Darrin Williams scored seven points in a game-changing 18-3 run that put Loyola in command, 37-23. Bouyed by the inside combination of Williams (nine points) and Leon Young (eight points), the Ramblers scored 24 of their 41 first-half points in the paint en route to a 12-point lead at the break.
SIU-Edwardsville opened the second half with a flourish and sliced the Loyola lead to 49-44 with 13:22 left to play, but again, the Ramblers countered with another big run, this one of the 12-3 variety, as the hosts padded their lead and never looked back.
Williams finished with a team-high 17 points, his most since a career-best 21-point effort at Cleveland State last January, while Young recorded his first double-double in exactly a year, with 16 points and 11 rebounds. J.R. Blount chipped in 16 points and six assists, and Justin Cerasoli added 13 points and a half dozen assists. The Ramblers finished with a team-high 23 assists and committed only 11 turnovers as all their active players saw action.
Loyola is off until it hosts Alcorn State on Dec. 30.