WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Cleanthony Early scored 23 points, including 12 of the 21 Wichita State scored in the second half, to help the fourth-ranked Shockers stay unbeaten with a 57-45 victory over Loyola of Chicago on Tuesday night.
Wichita State (22-0, 9-0 Missouri Valley Conference) saw a 22-point second-half lead trimmed to nine in the game’s final minutes but hung on to extend school records for winning streak and start to a season. The Shockers shot 23 percent (6 of 26) in the second half.
Freshman Milton Doyle scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half for Loyola (8-13, 3-6).
The Shockers outrebounded Loyola 44-28.
The Shockers tied the 1985-86 Bradley team for the third-longest winning streak by a Missouri Valley team.
The top two MVC winning streaks are Cincinnati, 37 from 1961 to 1963, and Indiana State, 33 in 1978-79.
The Shockers led 36-18 at halftime with the Ramblers 7 of 25 (28 percent) from the field and 1 of 9 (11 percent) from beyond the 3-point line.
Consecutive 3-pointers from Ron Baker and Early quickly pushed Wichita State’s lead to 42-20 early in the second half, but the Shockers went ice cold after that, making only two of their next 18 shots.
Doyle, who entered the game averaging 16 points, finally found scoring opportunities after a two-point first half.
His 3-pointer pulled Loyola within 43-29 with 13:31 left, but Early quickly countered with a 3-pointer to stem the tide.
Doyle scored four points in a six-point run that trimmed Wichita State’s lead to 48-35 with 6:03 remaining.
A 3 by Devon Turk off a Wichita State turnover and Doyle’s slashing layup 31 seconds later brought the Ramblers within 50-40.
The crowd was nervous and then restless after Doyle’s three-point play with 2:27 left shaved the lead to single digits, 52-43.
But four free throws by Anthony and a dunk by Darius Carter sealed the victory.
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