Guard Fred Thomas blocked a 3-point attempt by Loyola-Chicago guard Milton Doyle at the buzzer to preserve Mississippi State's 65-64 victory over the Ramblers in overtime Sunday afternoon in college basketball in Starkville, Miss.
The Bulldogs (5-1) won their sixth straight home game dating back to last season. The Ramblers (3-5) lost for the third time in five games.
The game went to overtime when State forward Craig Sword missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Ramblers scored the first four points of the overtime for a 60-56 margin.
But the Bulldogs countered with five consecutive points to regain the lead.
State had the chance to put Loyola away but missed three of five free throw opportunities in the overtime. The Bulldogs, who shot 46.8 percent from the field, finished only 17 of 28 from the stripe.
The Ramblers got to the line only 14 times and made 12.
After shooting 50 percent from the field in the first half, which ended in a 29-29 tie, the Ramblers cooled after the intermission and ended up shooting just 42.6 percent from the floor.
Sword led all scorers with 24 points, and forward Roquez Johnson scored a career-high 20 for the Bulldogs. State's leading scorer coming into the game, guard Gavin Ware with a 14.0 average, was scoreless and left the game in the overtime after taking a hard hit to his head.
Doyle led Loyola with 22 points followed by forward Christian Thomas with 12 and guard Devon Turk with 10.
The Ramblers were without starting forward Nick Osborne, who was out with the flu. Freshman center Jeremy King started in his place and scored two points and grabbed one rebound.