CHICAGO (AP) — Keith Clemons scored 16 points, Cameron Krutwig added 13 and No. 22 Loyola Chicago made a defensive stop in the final seconds to hang on for a 54-52 victory over Valparaiso on Wednesday night.
The Ramblers (19-4, 14-2 Missouri Valley Conference) have won 12 of 13 and extended their home winning streak to 20 games. Loyola lost its previous game, 51-50, in overtime at Drake on Sunday.READ MORE: Man Stabbed Overnight In Fight Near London House Downtown
Zion Morgan had 15 points and Ben Krikke and Goodnews Kpegeol had 10 points apiece for Valparaiso (8-15, 5-9).
Loyola won the first meeting between the teams 75-39 on Jan. 20 at Valparaiso.
This was Valpo’s third game against a ranked opponent this season, and the Crusaders fell to 1-2 in those matchups. Valpo beat then-No. 25 Drake 74-57 on Feb. 7, a day after losing to the Bulldogs.
Lucas Williamson hit a 3-pointer with 3:33 remaining to give Loyola a 52-48 lead, its biggest to that point.
Krutwig hit a jump hook with 1:38 left to make it 54-48.
Kpegeol scored with 1:23 to play to trim the Valpo deficit to four, ending a scoreless stretch of 3:35.
Sheldon Edwards then came up with a steal and drove for a basket with 54.8 seconds remaining to make it 54-52.
Valpo got the ball back with 24.7 seconds to go after forcing a shot-clock violation. After two non-shooting fouls, Valpo inbounded the ball with 13.2 seconds left. Krikke missed a 16-footer and Kpegeol was called for a foul on the rebound with 1.1 seconds to go.READ MORE: Mother And 10-Year-Old Daughter Dead After House Fire In Auburn Gresham; Family Believes It Wasn't An Accident
Loyola got off to a slow start offensively. The Ramblers went scoreless for more than seven minutes and made just three of their first 15 field-goal attempts, including 1 for 6 on 3-pointers.
Valpo took its biggest lead, 29-20, on a 3-pointer by Donovan Clay 3-pointer with 1:18 left. Loyola, though, ended the half with back-to-back 3s by Williamson and Aher Uguak to pull within 29-26 at halftime.
Valparaiso: The Crusaders are still looking for a breakthrough win. They have never beaten a ranked team on the road.
Loyola: Maintained first place in the conference heading into an eight-day break.
Valparaiso: At Southern Illinois for back-to-back games Sunday and Monday to complete a five-game road swing.
Loyola: Host Southern Illinois in back-to-back games on Feb. 26 and 27.MORE NEWS: 5 Killed, 15 Wounded In Chicago Weekend Shootings
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