Wichita State 88, Loyola-Chicago 74

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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CHICAGO — Guard Fred VanVleet had a perfect night as he scored 22 points while No. 3 Wichita State ran its season-long winning streak to 28 with a 88-74 Missouri Valley victory over Loyola-Chicago on Wednesday night at Gentile Arena.

The Shockers (28-0, 15-0) are now the nation’s sole unbeaten major team and could move up the polls after Boston College beat top-ranked and previously undefeated Syracuse 62-59 in overtime.

VanVleet, who was 6-for-6 from the field and 10-for-10 on free throws while forward Cleanthony Early scored 18 points, forward Darius Carter had 13 and guard Ron Baker added 10.

The loss was the third straight and sixth in seven games for the Ramblers (9-18, 4-11) as guard Milton Doyle led a balanced attack with 18 points.

Guard Jeff White scored 14 points, guard Devin Turk had 13 and forward Christian Thomas added 12.

Wichita State out rebounded Loyola 41-24 and went 31-of-34 from the free throw line.

The Shockers doubled a seven-point halftime lead early in the second half as forward Chadrack Lufile scored six points on consecutive 3-point plays over a span of 1:12 for a 50-36 advantage.

Wichita State led by as many as 17 points at 61-44 with 11:31. Loyola chipped away and cut the margin to 63-53 after Doyle’s 3 point play with 7:09 showing but the Ramblers got no closer.

Wichita State never trailed in the opening half.

After two early ties, the Shockers went on a 12-4 run, behind Baker’s six points, to open a 16-8 lead. Wichita State extended its edge to 21-12 thanks to 3-pointers from three players.

The Ramblers kept the deficit in single digits and crept within 25-19 on guard Devon Turk’s three-point play. The Shockers repelled the surge and moved into their first double-digit lead at 29-19 on forward Chadrack Lufile’s free throw.

Wichita State then led twice led by 11, but Loyola rallied to trail just 37-32 after five points from White.

Carter’s layup in the final minute pushed Wichita State’s lead to 39-32 at halftime.

The game drew a sellout crowd of 5,200, including several hundred yellow-clad Shockers fans.

NOTES: Wichita State could clinch the Missouri Valley Conference tourney’s top seed with a victory. … Shockers G Ron Baker was named MVC player of the week after averaging 22.5 points in two games last week. … The Shockers began the night leading the MVC with a 75.1 scoring average, and they were tops on defense with a 60.6-point average. Wichita State F Cleanthony Early was fifth in league scoring with a 16.2-point average. … Wichita State, making its first appearance at Loyola since 1976, was the Ramblers’ highest-ranked foe at Gentile Arena since then-No. 2 Michigan State visited on Dec. 2, 2000. … Loyola entered the game ranked 43rd nationally in field-goal percentage (47.2 percent). F Thomas Christian led the team’s regulars with a 54.3 percent success rate (70-for-129) from the field. … Loyola travels to Bradley on Saturday. Wichita State hosts Drake on Saturday.

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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