Loyola erased an 8-point deficit in the second half Wednesday to defeat Louisiana-Monroe, clinching the 2015 CBI title. The win gave the Ramblers (24-13, 8-10 MVC) a 2-0 sweep in the championship series.
The victory marks Loyola’s second postseason tournament title. The Ramblers also won the 1963 NCAA Tournament. It is the 16th postseason championship for the Missouri Valley Conference.
Louisiana-Monroe (24-14, 14-6 Sun Belt) built a 46-38 early in the second half in front of its home crowd.
An and-one finish on a one-on-three fastbreak for Loyola sophomore guard Milton Doyle ended the Warhawks’ run. However, after the Ramblers cut their deficit to 47-45, the Warhawks quickly bumped their lead back to six points.
Louisiana-Monroe still held a two-possession lead with 4:51, and then Loyola junior guard Devon Turk drained his fourth 3-pointer to bring the Ramblers within 58-57. A Doyle pull-up jumper the following possession gave Loyola its first lead since the opening minute of the period.
The Ramblers held a 63-62 lead as junior guard Earl Peterson toed the line for 1-and-1 with one second remaining. Peterson missed, but Louisiana-Monroe forward Jamaal Samuel could not get a desperation heave off after corralling the rebound.
Peterson, who finished with 12 points and 2 assists, was named tournament MVP. He averaged 13.2 points and shot 58.8 percent from the field in the team’s five postseason games.
Turk finished with 14 points and was the team’s driving force offensively in the first half with 10. The 6-foot-4 guard shot 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.
With those four makes, Turk set the program record for career 3-pointers, passing Blake Schilb, who played from 2003 to 2007. Turk will enter his senior season with 207 treys.
Loyola will hold a rally Monday at 7 p.m. in the Damen Student Center to celebrate the Ramblers’ championship.