CHICAGO — Loyola lost control of a nine-point lead Wednesday in the second half, falling 78-70 to Illinois State.
Here’s how Illinois State pulled off the road victory at Gentile Arena.
Destruction by offensive rebounding. Illinois State (13-11, 7-4 MVC) is one of the Valley’s bigger teams, and the Redbirds’ used their size to generate 15 second-chance points off 12 offensive rebounds.
Illinois State rebounded half its misses in the first half and finished the game a 46.2 percent offensive rebounding rate. That was huge as it helped negate Loyola’s 22-11 advantage in points off turnovers.
Loyola could not contain MiKyle McIntosh. McIntosh took Loyola’s post defenders to school on multiple occasions, imposing his will in the paint and finishing with 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting.
After Loyola (10-13, 3-8) opened up a 46-37 lead early in the second half, Illinois State coach Dan Muller let McIntosh go to work. The 6-foot-7 sophomore almost single-handedly brought the Redbirds back into the lead within minutes. He scored nine points in a 14-2 run that gave Illinois State its first lead of the half.
Strong first-half finish for Milton Doyle. Doyle had the type of dominant stretch he regularly displayed as a sophomore and freshman. In the final 5:25 of the first half, Doyle scored 10 points and one assist to account for the team’s final 12 points.
While Doyle remained a factor defensively in the second half, he disappeared offensively, as he has done often this season. Loyola could have used his scoring and playmaking as the offense stalled in crunch time.
Doyle did not make a mark in the box score offensively until he drained a deep, pull-up 3-pointer with 31.2 seconds left to finish with 13 points.