The Loyola (Ill.) Ramblers defeated a Division II opponent for the second straight game on Monday night at the Gentile Arena, but the Ramblers’ schedule will take a giant leap in their next contest.
Sophomore guard Milton Doyle scored 21 points and added eight assists, and senior forward Christian Thomas added 21 points as Loyola knocked off McKendree 78-68 to win for the second time against a Great Lakes Valley Conference opponent.
Loyola’s next game is Friday, when the Ramblers travel to play at Michigan State.
Thomas’ three-point play at the 1:37 mark of the first half gave Loyola its first double-digit lead of the game (35-23), as the Bearcats kept the game close for almost the entire first half.
Aided by the first-half cushion, the Ramblers kept McKendree at arm’s length after the break. The Bearcats scored two of the first three baskets after halftime to trim the deficit to single digits, but they could only get within six points once (48-42) when junior guard Chad McDowell converted a pair of free throws at the 14:52 mark.
Doyle scored back-to-back baskets to push the lead back to double digits.
This was the third and final matchup against a Division I opponent for McKendree, which previously lost to Evansville (88-60) and Northwestern (102-52).
Senior forward Matt Holmes led the Bearcats with 14 points. He was one of four McKendree players in double figures as the Bearcats shot 53 percent from the field.
The Ramblers, however, converted 60 percent of their field goals, led by Doyle (10 of 12) and Thomas (8 of 11).
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