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Southern Illinois 81, Loyola 76 OT
Loyola Chicago’s road struggles continued Saturday with an overtime loss at Southern Illinois (8-15, 4-6 MVC), 81-76. The Ramblers (8-14, 3-7) are now 0-10 in true road games this season.
With this loss, Loyola drops to a three-way tie for last place in the Missouri Valley with Drake and Evansville.
Loyola controlled the first half, taking a lead as large as nine points inside of six minutes before halftime. Junior Christian Thomas’ free throws put the Ramblers’ advantage at 35-30 at intermission.
Southern Illinois flipped the script in the second half and led by eight points with 5:37 remaining.
Loyola sophomore Jeff White nailed a jumper to spark a spurt that eventually gave the Ramblers a lead in the final two minutes.
Freshman Milton Doyle put Loyola ahead with a three-pointer at the 1:48 mark.
Southern Illinois freshman Bola Olaniyan tied the game, 69-69, at the foul line, but Thomas’ jumper with 16 seconds left gave Loyola a 71-69 lead.
Southern Illinois freshman Tyler Smithpeters attacked the rim on the Salukis’ final possession and drew a foul on Loyola sophomore Matt O’Leary. Smithpeters made both free throws to force overtime.
The overtime period was tight into the final minute, as Doyle made a layup with 47 seconds to play, tying the score at 76-76.
Saluki sophomore Anthony Beane served up the game-winning jumper with 23 seconds remaining.
Doyle turned the ball over on the ensuing possession, and Southern Illinois shot 3-of-4 at the foul line in the final seconds to put the game away.
Doyle and Beane led all scorers with 27 apiece.
For Doyle, it was his best offensive output in a road game, breaking his previous record of 23 points at Tennessee Tech on Nov. 12.
For Beane, it was an extension of his coming-out party in conference play. The sophomore has scored in double figures in seven of his last eight games, and he scored 22 points earlier in the week against Indiana State.
White added 16 points and five assists for Loyola while Thomas had 15 points and seven rebounds.
Sophomore guard Devon Turk recorded 12 points on four three-pointers off the bench. The four treys put Turk at No. 7 all-time in Loyola history with 112 triples.
Southern Illinois senior Desmar Jackson had a dominant all-around performance with 20 points, five assists and six steals.
Loyola returns home Thursday for a 7 p.m. CT tip against Bradley.