Men’s basketball: Salukis stumble in loss to Loyola Ramblers

By Adam Warfel, Sports Editor

CHICAGO – Southern (10-11, 3-5 MVC) fell 75-50 to Valley leader Loyola (13-8,6-2 MVC) during today’s matchup at Gentile Arena.

Southern was looking to build momentum after coming off the win against Northern Iowa. The Dawgs where down by as many as 21 in the game.

Loyola journey into the game looking to make a statement after losing to Missouri State by 35 points on Wednesday. SIU entered the all time series at 7-6, however the Ramblers have won 10 straight Valley games at home.

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Southern forced two straight turnovers on Loyola to open the game, which resulted in a jumper by junior guard Aaron Cook to give the Salukis the early lead.

The Ramblers forced SIU to work to the end of the shot clock multiple times to pull back ahead at 5-2. For the next two minutes, the Salukis trader leads with Loyola with senior guard Sean Lloyd Jr, giving Southern the 9-7 lead at the 13:43 mark.

The Ramblers made an and one play and forced a last second shot on Southern, which was missed and Loyola turned into a three-pointer to pull back ahead at 13-12.

Loyola continued to make it tough for SIU to get a good shot as their defense propelled them out to a 15-0 run to push out a ten point lead with 8:36 left in the half. The Ramblers started to do what SIU did to Northern Iowa on Wednesday as they continued out to a 21-0 run to push their lead out to 28-12.

At the five minute mark senior guard Marcus Bartley stopped the 23-0 run with a bucket as Southern trailed 30-14. Junior guard Eric McGill got his first three-pointer of the game as Southern trailed Loyola 40-19 with 38 seconds left in the first half.

Cook attempted a last second three in the first half but it did not go in as SIU trailed the Ramblers 42-19 at halftime. He finished with eight points and three rebounds.

Southern was able to get the first four points of the second half with a layup by senior forward Armon Fletcher and McGill. Fletcher finished with the team lead in points with 12 to go along with five rebounds.

Cook was fouled on a layup attempt and made one of the two free throw shots to pull SIU within 17 at 44-27 at the 16:50 mark in the half.

Loyola pulled back out to a 20 point lead but senior center Kavion Pippen’s first bucket of the game and a three-pointer by Lloyd pulled the Salukis within 17 with 11:57 left in the game.

After Loyola senior guard Clayton Custer made one of his two free throws, senior center Thik Bol made one of his two free throws and the Crusaders answered the Saluki score with a three-pointer to make it 63-38.

Two free throws by sophomore center Cameron Krutwig extended the lead for the Ramblers, but two free throws by Cook helped to keep the game at 67-40 with 6:58 left in the game.

Loyola pushed out to a 31 point lead after a jumper by Krutwig but SIU answered with four straight points as they trailed 71-44 with 3:57 left in the game.

Krutwig finished with 22 points behind 72 percent shooting along with grabbing six rebounds. The Ramblers scored the last bucket of the game as they defeated the Salukis, 75-50.

Next up for Southern is Indiana State on Wednesday for the blackout cancer game at SIU Arena, tip off is set for 8 p.m.

Sports editor Adam Warfel can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @warfel_adam.

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