- Associated Press - Sunday, February 9, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Christian Thomas and Joe Crisman both scored 17 points to pace Loyola of Chicago over Illinois State 79-69 on Sunday.

Loyola (9-15, 4-8 Missouri Valley) raced out to a 15-5 lead, hitting six of its first seven shots, including four treys - two by Thomas. The Ramblers cruised to a 37-20 halftime lead.

A 7-0 run by Illinois State (13-11, 6-6), including a trey by Nick Zeisloft, cut its deficit to nine at the 14-minute mark of the second. But Loyola responded with a 7-0 run of its own and its lead never dipped into single digits again.

Loyola shot 55 percent from the floor and made 8 of 16 from beyond the arc. Nick Osborne and Milton Doyle both added 14 points.

Paris Lee led Illinois State with 14 points and Daishon Knight added 10.