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Loyola 69, DePaul 61

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- Cully Payne scored 24 points -- including nine down the stretch -- as Loyola stunned DePaul 69-61 in a crosstown rivalry clash Saturday at Allstate Arena.

The Ramblers (9-3) snapped a 12-game losing streak in the series for their first win over the Blue Demons since 1989.

DePaul (9-4) saw its seven-game winning streak end as it struggled with shooting -- going 10-of-29 (34.5 percent) from the field and 8 of 14 (57.1 percent) in the second half.

Brandon Young paced DePaul with 18 points while Worrel Clahar added 10.

Christian Thomas collected 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds while Devon Turk added 10 points for Loyola, which has now won seven of its last eight.

DePaul led by as many as eight points midway through the first half, but Loyola chipped away and turned it into a see-saw contest with four ties down the stretch. Thomas forced a 33-33 tie just before the half with a put-back for two of his 10 first-half points.

Young and Jamee Crockett paced the Blue Demons with eight first half points apiece.

Loyola grabbed its first lead at 38-37 on Payne's three-pointer at the 17:14 mark of the second half. DePaul's Donnavan Kirk replied with a short jumper, but the Ramblers went back ahead at 40-39 on Ben Averkamp's short bank shot with 15:50 showing and never trailed again.

The Ramblers opened a 52-46 lead on Payne's second three-pointer with 8:14 left. Payne pumped his fist in the air in celebration as the Blue Demons called a time out.

Thomas followed with a short jumper to make it 54-46 and the lead grew from there to 59-47 on a Jordan Hicks three-pointer with 6:14 showing.

Cleveland Melvin left the game with 10:23 left in the first half when he sustained a cut near his right eye after he hit the court following a battle for a rebound. He was treated on the bench and returned with 7:04 showing.

Both teams begin respective conference seasons next Wednesday. DePaul hosts Seton Hall in its eighth Big East opener while Loyola travels to Valparaiso to kick off Horizon League play.

NOTES: Loyola had already achieved a milestone even before the DePaul game, exceeding a win total (seven) from all of 2011-12. ... The Ramblers last beat the Blue Demons in 1989, a 70-69 decision. DePaul topped Loyola 69-58 on Dec. 7, 2011, behind 13 points from Moses Morgan. ... Loyola is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its 1963 NCAA basketball championship with a series of events, including a web site dedicated to Illinois' lone national champions (www.Loyola63.com). ... DePaul's Cleveland Melvin came in with 26 straight games in double figures, tied for third in the nation. ... Melvin and Brandon Young are the only Blue Demons to start all 13 games this season. ... Ben Averkamp's nine points gave him 1,777 for his career as he moved ahead of Jim Tilman (1965-68), Vic Rouse (1961-64) and Keith Carter (1984-89) into 23rd on Loyola's all-time scoring list. Alfredrick Hughes (1981-85) is the all-time leader with 2,914 points.
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