Loyola Chicago’s Missouri Valley Conference era began on a sour note as the Ramblers lost at Indiana State, 70-58, on Wednesday.
Indiana State (10-3, 1-0 MVC) was picked to finish No. 2 in the league during the preseason, and the Sycamores had lived up to that hype in non-conference play with victories against Notre Dame and Belmont.
Loyola (5-8, 0-1 MVC) held its own early against the more talented Sycamores, commanding a 24-23 lead with 8:54 to play until halftime.
The Sycamores’ domination on the glass led to nine second chance points in the first 20 minutes, and they took a 36-32 lead into the locker room.
The Ramblers remained within striking distance at 43-37 inside of 11 minutes to play, but back-to-back three-pointers from Indiana State’s Lucas Eitel bumped the lead up to double digits for the first time.
Loyola would close the gap to as few as eight points on Cody Johnson’s three-pointer with 1:25 remaining, but 0-of-3 field-goal shooting the rest of the way kept the Ramble...