Loyola gained further separation from the bottom of the Missouri Valley on Wednesday with a 54-43 win against Bradley at Carver Arena.
Here’s how the Ramblers earned their second straight road victory:
Loyola (12-13, 5-8 MVC) made the worst offense in Division I somehow look even worse. Bradley ranked last in Division with an adjusted 84 points per 100 possessions entering Wednesday, per KenPom.
The Braves scored 63 points per 100 possessions against Loyola.
Bradley (4-22, 2-11) also entered with a 42.2 effective field-goal percentage but posted a 31.9-percent mark Wednesday.
Bradley had a 6-0 flurry late in the first half. The Braves made a furious comeback with an 8-0 run late in the second half. Aside from those two spurts, Bradley could not find any offensive flow.
Montel James led a dominant night for Loyola in the paint. The Ramblers scored 21 of their 25 first-half points in the paint and finished with 28 points inside.
James finished with a game-high 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting. He also grabbed seven rebounds. James has now scored in double figures in seven of eight games, including the last six, since coach Porter Moser moved him to the bench.
In the last six games, James is averaging 17.7 points per game.
A good night all over the Valley for Loyola. Missouri State lost at Northern Iowa, which puts the Ramblers one game out of seventh place. Indiana State lost at home to Southern Illinois, placing the Ramblers two games out of fifth place.
Considering Indiana State and Northern Iowa, the two teams tied for fifth, have two of the tougher remaining schedules in the conference, Loyola’s chances of finishing in the top of the league are not completely finished.