Christian Thomas and Joe Crisman both scored 17 points to pace Loyola of Chicago over Illinois State 79-69 on Sunday.
Loyola (9-15, 4-8 Missouri Valley) raced out to a 15-5 lead, hitting six of its first seven shots, including four treys -- two by Thomas. The Ramblers cruised to a 37-20 halftime lead.
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A 7-0 run by Illinois State (13-11, 6-6), including a trey by Nick Zeisloft, cut its deficit to nine at the 14-minute mark of the second. But Loyola responded with a 7-0 run of its own and its lead never dipped into single digits again.
Loyola shot 55 percent from the floor and made 8 of 16 from beyond the arc. Nick Osborne and Milton Doyle both added 14 points.
Paris Lee led Illinois State with 14 points and Daishon Knight added 10.