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Loyola (Ill.) 64, Bradley 49

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Forward Christian Thomas scored 20 points and guard Devon Turk added 19 as Loyola (Ill.) ran its winning streak to seven with a 64-49 victory over Bradley in a Missouri Valley season opener for both on Wednesday at Gentile Arena in Chicago.

Loyola (11-2, 1-0) has now surpassed its win total from 2013-14.

Forward Auston Barnes scored 10 points and forward Josh Cunningham added a game-high 10 rebounds for Bradley (5-9, 0-1).

After five lead changes and three early ties, the Ramblers broke away from a 17-17 deadlock with an 18-2 run on the way to a 37-23 halftime lead.

Bradley never got any closer than eight points in the second half and Loyola hit a high-water mark of 19 points when a Thomas free throw gave the hosts a 64-45 lead with 2:04 to play.

The Ramblers made 14 of 18 free throws and were 8 of 17 on 3-point tries. The Braves had just four opportunities from the stripe and hit all four while going 3 of 19 from beyond the arc.

Bradley has now lost 11 straight road games dating to February. The Braves beat Illinois-Chicago last Sunday to break a two-game losing streak.

Wednesday’s meeting was the 51st all time between the in-state rivals. Bradley leads the series 32-19, but Loyola has now won two straight.

Missouri Valley play continues for both teams as Bradley hosts Southern Illinois on Saturday and Loyola is at Northern Iowa on Sunday.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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