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Atlanta, Ga– Marques Towns hit a corner three pointer to seal the game with 06.3 left in regulation to send Loyola-Chicago to the Elite 8 with a 69-68 win.
Nevada came out as the aggressors as they went on an 8-0 run to take a 12-4 lead. The pace of the game favored the Wolf Pack as they controlled both the offensive and defensive sides of the court.
The size advantage in the paint for Loyola didn’t make that much of a difference early on although center Cameron Krutwig started the game 3-4 from the field with six points. Nevada used their quickness against the Ramblers to dictate the flow of the game.
Using their size, the Ramblers got within five points with a little over six minutes left in the first half. Krutwig started drawing attention which opened up lanes to the basket. On the defensive end, they forced the Wolfpack to take careless shots.
The Ramblers offense started flowing midway through the half led by Ben Richardson and Marques Towns who both scored nine in the half. Loyola ended the half on a 12-0 run and held Nevada scoreless for the last 7:55 of the half taking a 28-24. Forward Jordan Caroline led the Wolf Pack with nine points.
After Nevada scored the first basket of the second half, the Ramblers went on a 8-0 run to take a 36-26 lead. They caused three turnovers that turned into points. Loyola went 13-13 to start the half which the first miss was a desperation shot with the shot clock winning down with a little over eight minutes left in the second half.
“We started Aundre [Jackson]. I thought we go small and really push the tempo. Krutwig had two fouls and they would go at hi so we decided to go small,” said coach Porter Moser.
Yet, Nevada hung in by capitalizing on a couple of threes and getting to the line. After two big defensive stops, Nevada tied the game.
At the four minute mark, they tied the score with a Caleb Martin layup. Rambling forward Aundre Jackson nailed a three-pointer under three minutes left to put them up 62-59. Jackson scored last seven to put them in positon to win the game.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling. It was a lot of ups and downs but to battle back and we’re one step closer to get to the National Championship,” said jackson.
This is the furthest that Loyola has been. They will face the winner of Kansas State Wildcats vs Kentucky Wildcats.