It took extra work, but Loyola’s winning ways continued vs Valparaiso

WGN News Now

CHICAGO – One could easily argue that Loyola has shown itself to be the best team in Missouri Valley Conference so far in the 2021-2022 season. It looked as if Valparaiso wanted very much to be the first team to knock them off in conference play.

But despite a strong punch from the Beacons on Tuesday night, the Ramblers were once again able to strike the knockout blow, even though they needed a little extra time to do it.

Down ten with 7:46 to go in the game, Loyola rallied to tie the game in regulation then again in the first overtime before finally pulling away for a 81-74 victory over Valparaiso at Gentile Arena.

It’s the third-straight win for the Ramblers in conference play, their eighth-consecutive victory overall, while their winning streak at home increases to 30 games. Their 12-2 overall record is their best start to a season through 14 games since the 1964-1965 season.

Braden Norris played a big part in making that happen with efforts at the end of regulation, the first overtime, and then the second to ensure those streaks stayed intact. Down by four in the final minute, Lucas Williamson hit a jumper to cut the lead to two, and then it was Norris who knocked down a pair of free throws with 17 seconds left to send the game into overtime.

Down three with 23 seconds to go in the first extra session, the guard knocked down a three-pointer to force a second overtime. Norris made sure it wouldn’t go to a third, scoring nine of his game-high 23 points in that session to give Loyola the victory

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