Dec. 31, 2012
CHICAGO - Cully Payne (Schaumburg, Ill./Schaumburg/Iowa), a junior on the Loyola University Chicago men's basketball team, has been named Horizon League Newcomer of the Week it was announced today. Payne becomes the second Rambler to earn the honor from the Horizon League this season, joining freshman Devon Turk, who was recognized as the Newcomer of the Week on December 17 following a 21-point outburst in a victory over Mississippi State.
In last Saturday's 69-61 victory over DePaul, Loyola's first over its city rival since 1989, Payne proved to be a catalyst, scoring 24 points and hitting numerous clutch shots in the second half as the Ramblers rallied from a nine-point, first-half deficit. The 6-foot-1 point guard scored nine of Loyola's final 10 points of the game and hit three clutch three-pointers in the second half as he fell one point short of matching his career high.
Not only was Payne the Ramblers' leading scorer on the day, but he also contributed four rebounds, four assists, and a pair of steals to the victory, going 7 for 10 from the field, 3 for 6 from three-point range, and a perfect 7 for 7 from the foul line as the Ramblers won for the seventh time in their last eight outings.
For the season, Payne, who earlier this month was named to the 2013 Bob Cousy Award Watch List, is contributing 8.5 points and 2.5 rebounds, to go with a team-best 4.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Over the last seven outings, he is producing 11.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.7 apg, and 1.4 spg, while shooting 41 percent (13 for 32) from three-point territory.
In addition to collecting Horizon League Newcomer of the Week honors, today, Payne was also named Horizon League Player of the Week by College Sports Madness, a website which covers all aspects of college sports, from recruiting right up through the draft.
Loyola, which is 9-3 overall and has already surpassed last season's win total (7), opens up Horizon League play at defending regular-season champion Valparaiso on Wednesday (Jan. 2) night.