Loyola 57, Wis.-Milwaukee 51
MILWAUKEE (AP)—J.R. Blount scored 23 points and sparked a second-half rally that carried 8th-seeded Loyola of Chicago to a 57-51 victory over 5th-seeded Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the Horizon League Tournament Tuesday night.
The Ramblers (12-18), who have won three of their last four games, will play Illinois-Chicago Friday night in a second-round game in Indianapolis. Tracy Robinson added 13 points for Loyola.
The Panthers (14-16) ended their season by losing five of their last six games. They were led by Ricky Franklin with 17 points and Deion James with 14.
Milwaukee’s Jason Averkamp nailed a 3-pointer with 58.6 seconds left to cut Loyola’s lead to 52-51. But Ross Forman put in a short jumper with 27.6 seconds remaining to boost the Rambler lead to 54-51 and Loyola hung on to win.
Milwaukee led 35-30 after a basket by Franklin. But Loyola, getting all its points from Blount, outscored the Panthers 9-2 and his basket with 9:24 remaining gave his team a 39-37 lead.
The lead kept changing hands the rest of the way. Andy Polka’s basket with 3:04 left put the Ramblers up 49-48 and Forman followed with another score for a three-point lead.
Loyola led 19-17 after a tight first half in which both teams had trouble scoring.
A basket by Milwaukee’s Marcus Skinner tied the game for the fifth time at 15-15. But Darrin Williams and Robinson scored on two straight possessions to put the Ramblers up 19-15.
Williams’ basket with 2:04 remaining gave Loyola a 17-15 lead.
Milwaukee had beaten Loyola 68-53 Feb. 28.