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Cotton leads Wichita State over Loyola-Chicago, 67-53

CHICAGO (AP) — Tekele Cotton hit four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points to lead No. 15 Wichita State to a 67-53 victory over Loyola of Chicago on Sunday.

Ron Baker scored 15. Fred VanVleet added 14 points and 10 assists, and the Shockers (14-2, 4-0 Missouri Valley Conference) took control in the second half. They outscored the Ramblers (12-4, 2-2) 44-25 after trailing by five at the break to pick up their 22nd straight league win.

Earl Peterson led Loyola with 13 points and Devon Turk scored 11. The emerging Ramblers hit 10 of 18 3-pointers but simply came up short down the stretch against the league’s powerhouse.

Loyola has already eclipsed last season’s win total of 10 and are threatening to reach the postseason for the first time in three decades. A win over Wichita State certainly would have strengthened its case, but the Shockers wasted no time taking the lead in the second half.

Loyola has already eclipsed last season’s win total of 10 and is threatening to reach the postseason for the first time in three decades. A win over Wichita State certainly would have strengthened its case, but the Shockers wasted no time taking the lead in the second half.

They opened on an 18-3 run, scoring the first 10 points to wipe out a 28-23 deficit.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Cotton made it 33-28, and a fast-break layup by VanVleet after he stole the inbounds put the lead at 41-31 with about 12:30 left.

It stayed in that range until the closing minutes.

Peterson banked in a half-court heave at the shot-clock buzzer to pull Loyola to 53-45. But Cotton hit back-to-back 3s to start a 10-2 run for Wichita State.

Loyola had the near-capacity crowd rocking thanks to a 10-point run over the final 2:36 of the first half that turned a five-point deficit into a five-point lead.

Milton Doyle drove for a three-point play to start the spurt and followed that with a spin around Darius Carter for a neat layup.

Peterson added a 3-pointer. And with the crowd chanting “L-U-C!” he nailed a jumper off the dribble in the closing seconds to send the Ramblers to the locker room with a five-point lead.

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TIP-INS

Wichita State: Wichita State’s 22-game MVC win streak ties Southern Illinois (February 2003-March 2004) for the longest by a current conference member.

Loyola: The most recent win over a ranked team was at Butler on Feb. 15, 2009. It has not beaten a Top 25 team at home since an 83-82 victory over No. 9 Illinois on Dec. 27, 1986.

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UP NEXT

Wichita State: hosts Southern Illinois on Wednesday.

Loyola: hosts Drake on Wednesday.

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