WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita State withstood a late second half rally to collect its sixth straight win and defeat Loyola, 87-75, Wednesday night at Charles Koch Arena.
Markis McDuffie dropped a career-high 26 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. McDuffie also added four boards and two assists.
Wichita State (15-3, 5-0 MVC) is 5-0 in the Valley for the fourth straight season and the Shockers are now 8-0 vs. the Ramblers since Loyola joined the league.
The Shockers were 12-for-27 from three-point range and shot 54 percent overall. Loyola outrebounded WSU, 35-30, and shot 45 percent from the field.
Loyola (12-6, 2-3 MVC) got 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds from Milton Doyle and nearly came all the way back from a 19-point deficit. Aundre Jackson added 18, Donte Ingram 14 and Clayton Custer chipped in 10.
Wichita State opened up its first double-digit lead of the game at the 5:00 mark coming off the heels of a Shamet three-pointer. After Loyola got back within six, McDuffie spearheaded a 9-0 run with consecutive three-pointers followed by another triple from Conner Frankamp to put WSU up 46-31 and two minutes remaining in the half.
The Shockers closed the half hitting seven of their final nine shots to shoot 63 percent overall, while Loyola went the final five minutes without a field goal. The Ramblers still shot 50 percent from the field.
Neither team played much defense for the first 20 minutes as both teams were shooting better than 60 percent from the field for a majority of the half.
WSU led 49-35 at the break behind 13 points from McDuffie and 10 from Shamet. Doyle and Jackson led the Ramblers with 10 points apiece.
To open the second half, Wichita State went on a 7-0 spurt to take a 56-37 lead. McDuffie scored five and Zach Brown added a basket in transition to build a 19 point lead.
Loyola continued to hang around and even closed the gap to single digits, 73-64, with less than six minutes remaining. Another LU three-pointer and two free throws brought the Ramblers within four.
A three-pointer from Brown gave the Shockers the separation needed to pull away at the four-minute mark. Free throws from McDuffie down the stretch put the game out of reach in the final minute.
Wichita State pays a visit to Missouri Valley Conference co-leader Illinois State (12-4, 4-0 MVC) Saturday night for a nationally-televised game on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. CDT.