Loyola (Chicago) pulled away from a 31-31 tie late in the first half and led throughout the second half for an 81-78 victory over Tennessee Tech on Wednesday night, the Ramblers' fourth win in a row.
Playing their first home game in 16 days, the Ramblers led 38-34 at intermission. They didn't secure their fifth victory in seven outings until Tech's Lanerryl Johnson missed a 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
Junior guard Culley Payne led the Ramblers with 18 points, and senior forward Ben Averkamp recovered from a slow start (one field goal in the first half) to add 16 points.
Senior forward Jordan Hicks added 15 points for Loyola.
Tech junior guard/forward Matt Marseille led all scorers with 21 points. Jeremiah Samarrippas added 15 points and five assists for the Golden Eagles (3-2), and Jud Dillard scored 14.
Both teams shot well from the field, with the Ramblers hitting 49.0 percent (24 of 49) and the Golden Eagles an even 50 percent (29 of 58).
Loyola lost the rebounding 28-23 but made up for that by forcing Tech into 20 turnovers against its 17.
The Ramblers will put their winning streak on the line Saturday when Furman visits in the back half of a two-game homestand. Tennessee Tech plays Friday at Lipscomb.