Loyola-Chicago's bid for its first Missouri Valley victory in history fell short as Indiana State claimed a 70-58 win in the conference opener on Wednesday at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Ind. Guard Manny Arop scored 18 points and reserve guard Dawon Cummings added 10 for the Sycamores (10-3, 1-0). Loyola guard Christian Thomas had a game-high 19 points and reached double figures for the 13th straight time. Center Cody Johnson added 10 points as the Ramblers (5-8, 0-1) suffered their third straight loss. Indiana State broke away from a 32-32 tie late in the first half on guard Jake Odum's jumper with 2:06 left and an Arop basket with 54 seconds remaining on the way to a 36-32 halftime edge. The teams combined for just 12 points through more than nine minutes of the second half as Indiana State maintained a five-point lead at 43-37. But the Sycamores began to put the game out of reach with a 10-0 run in the next 2:05 that made it 53-37 with 8:43 to play. Loyola battled back and twice managed to cut the lead under double digits but got no closer than eight points. Wednesday's game with the 16th meeting and the first as conference foes. Indiana State, which beat Loyola 77-73 in overtime in the teams' last meeting in Terre Haute in 1998, holds a 9-7 series lead. Loyola, which had been idle for eight days for the Christmas break after an 83-69 loss at Fordham, plays its second MVC game on Sunday at Missouri State. Indiana State resumes Missouri Valley play on Saturday at Evansville.
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