NCAA News Wire

Wichita State 57, Loyola-Chicago 45

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Forward Cleanthony Early scored a game-high 23 points as No. 4 Wichita State beat Loyola (Chicago) 57-45 Tuesday at Koch Arena in Wichita, Kan., to maintain sole possession of the Missouri Valley Conference lead.

It was the Ramblers’ inaugural MVC game against the Shockers (22-0, 9-0) and the teams’ first meeting since a 75-59 Wichita State win on Dec. 28, 1989.

Freshman guard Milton Doyle scored 16 points to lead Loyola (8-13, 3-6) which has lost three of its last four.

Guards Ron Baker and Tekele Cotton each had seven points for the Shockers, who are off to their best start and longest winning streak in school history.

Wichita State never trailed. Early collected 11 first-half points, and the Shockers scored 14 unanswered points late in the first half on the way to a 36-18 lead at the break.

The hosts led by as many as 22 points early in the second half after Anthony’s 3-pointer opened a 42-20 advantage with 17:05 to go. The Ramblers chipped away at the deficit and managed to cut the margin to nine on Doyle’s free throw with 2:27 to play.

Loyola got no closer, as Anthony pushed the lead back to double-digits with two free throws and forward Darius Carter added a dunk for a 14-point margin inside the final minute.

Loyola, which fell to 0-7 all-time in Wichita, last beat the Shockers 93-92 in overtime on Jan. 29, 1965, at the old Chicago Stadium. The Ramblers fell to 0-9 in road games this season.

Both teams resume MVC play Saturday. Wichita State hosts Evansville, while Loyola travels to Southern Illinois.