- Associated Press - Friday, December 22, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Alize Johnson hit five 3-pointers and scored 24 with 11 rebounds, Reggie Scurry came off the bench to score 18 with seven boards and Missouri State slipped past Loyola-Chicago 64-59 in a Missouri Valley Conference opener for both teams on Friday.

Ryan Kreklow chipped in with 10 points, five assists and five rebounds for the Bears (11-3), who ran their record to 25-3 in MVC home openers. Johnson notched his third straight double-double and eighth of the season and needs just three rebounds to reach 500 for his career. Missouri State won the battle of the boards 32-30 and have outrebounded its opponents in 13 of 14 games. The Bears, who have posted double-figure totals in offensive rebounds in 12 games this season, had nine against the Ramblers (10-3).

Cameron Krutwig had a season-high 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting for Illinois-Chicago. Marques Townes added 14 points and Aundre Jackson scored 10 for the Ramblers, who hit 23 of 52 shots (44 percent) to become just the second team this season to top 43 percent against Missouri State. The Ramblers have never won a MVC opener on the road.

Townes’ jumper gave the Ramblers a 48-47 lead midway through the second half, but Scurry and Johnson teamed up for a 7-2 run and the Bears never trailed again.

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