Arena Sportsnet

Ramblers Gut Out Big Win at Illinois State

(NORMAL, IL) Loyola University Chicago’s (13-4, 3-2 MVC) physical defense forced 18 turnovers and the Ramblers earned their first win at Redbird Arena since 1991 with a 68-61 victory tonight. The win is the Loyola’s second in a row.

Loyola received a huge lift from the bench in the opening period, getting 22 points from the reserves, including 11 from Bruno Skokna. Aundre Jackson (6) and Skokna (5) accounted for 11 points in a 13-0 Loyola run that gave the Ramblers a 23-13 advantage.

After Illinois State trimmed the deficit to four, Loyola rattled off eight unanswered points, punctuated by a three-pointer from Skokna, to bump the lead to 33-21, the largest of the half.

The Redbirds got back into the game, scoring the final seven points of the half to send Loyola into the locker room on top, 33-28.

Loyola led by as many as eight points in the second half but Illinois State stormed back, using a 16-7 run to seize a 46-45 lead with 7:58 left to play. From there, however, Clayton Custer tallied five straight points as part of a 12-2 Loyola run that gave it a 57-48 lead. That advantage would grow to as much as 11 points (62-53) and Illinois State never got closer than five the rest of the game.

“I’m really proud of our guys and happy with how they finished out the game. We beat a really good team tonight.” said Coach Porter Moser.

Jackson scored a team-high 15 points off the bench, hitting 6-of-7 shots from the field, while Custer added 14 points. Marques Townes pitched in 12 points and Skokna contributed 11 to round out the double-digit scorers.

With his first basket of the night, Donte Ingram scored his 1,000th career point. He is only the 19th player in program history to rack up 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in his career.

Phil Fayne led ISU with 14 points.

The Ramblers return home Saturday afternoon (Jan. 13) when they host Bradley at 3 p.m.

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