Illinois State Drops Valley Road Game at Loyola Chicago
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Feb. 09, 2014
CHICAGO - Despite Maywood, Ill., native Paris Lee's 14 points on 4-for-7 shooting to lead Illinois State, the Redbirds fell at Loyola Chicago, 79-69, Sunday afternoon at Gentile Arena in Missouri Valley Conference play.
ISU (13-11, 6-6 MVC) shot 44.9 percent from the field, but Loyola (9-15, 4-8 MVC) managed a 54.9 percent shooting-clip, and the Ramblers outrebounded the Redbirds, 37-23. Loyola was led by 17-point efforts from both Joe Crisman and Christian Thomas. Daishon Knight joined Lee in double-figures with 10 points for the Redbirds who are now tied for third in the MVC standings with six regular-season games remaining.
After Knight gave ISU a brief one-point advantage on a three-pointer, Loyola took an early 15-5 lead, with seven points from Thomas during the opening stretch. However, Illinois State manufactured a 7-2 run - including a jumper and a three-point play by Reggie Lynch - to pull within 17-12 at the 11:31 mark.
After the Redbirds cut their deficit to five points, Loyola answered with a 9-1 run to extend its lead to 26-13. The Ramblers pulled ahead by as many as 18 points with 2:12 remaining in the first half before Lee forced a steal and netted a free throw with no time on the clock to cut Loyola's halftime advantage to 37-20.
Illinois State started the second half by outscoring Loyola, 14-6, including a 10-0 run to pull within 43-34 on a Nick Zeisloft three-pointer at the 14:34 mark. The LaGrange, Ill., native netted six points during the opening six minutes to trim ISU's deficit to single-digits. However, that was as close as ISU managed to get in the second half.
Loyola again answered, extending its lead to 50-34 with a 7-0 scoring-stretch. The Redbirds pulled within 11 points three times before the final minute. Jamaal Samuel then scored seven-straight points throughout a 7-2 run - from the 50-second mark to the 21-second mark - to cut Loyola's lead to 79-69, which became the game's final score.
The Redbirds remain on the road for another Valley contest at Evansville Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. CT, with live coverage available via the Illinois State Radio Network.
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