Dec. 15, 2007
Loyola 76, Northern Illinois 72 (OT) in PDF Format
Chicago, Ill. - Loyola junior guard J.R. Blount started the momentum with a game-tying three-pointer at the end of regulation and teammate Andy Polka put the stamp on the Rambler victory with seven points in overtime to help propel Loyola to the 76-72 come-from-behind non-conference victory over Northern Illinois at the Joseph J. Gentile Center on Saturday night.
Blount, who scored 14 of his game-high 16 points in the second half, was one of five Rambler players to post double-figures. Polka added 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Loyola junior forward Leon Young finished with 16 points, followed by 11 points apiece from forwards Tracy Robinson and Ross Forman.
Free throw shooting aided Loyola's cause, as the Ramblers knocked down 23-of-29 from the charity stripe.
With the victory, Loyola improves to 4-5, while the Huskies drop to 2-8 on the season.
NIU junior guard Jarvis Nichols (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North/Pratt C.C.) came off the bench and scored a team-best 15 points, including the Huskies' last eight tallies of the second half. Freshman guard Darion Anderson (Chicago, Ill./Carver Military Academy) added 13 points off the bench, while senior forward Shaun Logan (Eldridge, Iowa/North Scott/Kirkwood C.C.) posted 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists on the evening.
"It was a good basketball game, other than the loss," NIU head men's basketball coach Ricardo Patton said. "I'm proud of the way that our guys battled. We did everything but win the ballgame."
NIU seemed poised to claim the victory over Loyola, as Nichols stole a Blount pass and coasted for a lay-up with 51 seconds left in regulation, putting the Huskies ahead, 64-60.
The Huskies, however, stopped the clock six seconds later as Anderson fouled Forman, sending him to the free throw line. Forman split his free throw attempts, cutting NIU's lead to 64-61 with 45 ticks remaining.
Anderson looked to ice the contest for NIU, but Robinson blocked his lay-up attempt, giving Loyola the chance to tie the game and force overtime. Blount found the ball in his hands and calmly drained the tying trey at the top of the key with eight seconds remaining. Nichols had a chance for the game-winning jumper, but his attempt fell short at the buzzer.
Loyola came out firing in the extra session, as Robinson drained a three-pointer at the 4:43 mark. Anderson answered with two consecutive lay-ups to put the Huskies ahead 68-67 with 3:20 remaining.
The Ramblers, quickly squashed any hopes of a Huskie victory with a 7-0 run, led by five points from Polka to put the game out of reach.
NIU is back in action on Saturday, December 22, as they travel to Wisconsin to square off with the Green Bay Phoenix.