Loyola Holds Off Butler, 75-71

Feb. 22, 2007

Box Score

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Blake Schilb scored 28 points, Tracy Robinson hit five free throws in the final 36 seconds and Loyola of Chicago held off No. 15 Butler 75-71 on Thursday night for its first victory over a ranked opponent in 21 years.

It also gave the streaking Ramblers (20-9, 10-5 Horizon League) their seventh straight win this season, their longest since 1992, and assured league-leader Wright State the top seed in the conference tournament next week. Butler (24-5, 12-3) can still tie Wright State for the regular-season title with a victory over Detroit on Saturday but would get the second seed because of a tie-breaker.

Loyola, the preseason conference favorite, already has third place locked up and closes against Illinois-Chicago on Saturday.

Butler came from 12 points down in the second half and took its final lead at 69-67 on two free throws by A.J. Graves. A basket and free throw by Andy Polka put the Ramblers back in front, then Robinson iced the game from the free throw line.

The Ramblers, who had lost 17 straight games in Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse since 1989, took a 38-33 lead at halftime and stretched it to 45-33 on a basket by Schilb, a 3-pointer by Majak Kou and another field goal by Kou at the start of the second period.

That's when Butler began its comeback.

Pete Campbell, who had a 3-pointer disallowed after a review at the end of the first half, hit a trey. Mike Green hit a basket and free throw and Graves scored on a spinning drive to the basket to make it 45-41.

Loyola still led 55-49 before Brandon Crone hit a 3-pointer that started a 12-2 run for the Bulldogs. Butler took its first lead since the first half on two free throws by Crone, then Graves hit a 3 to put Butler up 61-57.

There were seven more lead changes before the basket and free throw by Polka made it 70-69 and Robinson got the final five points from the foul line.

Kou added 13 points for the Ramblers, who beat a ranked opponent for the first time since a 1-point win over Illinois in 1986.

Graves led the Bulldogs with 24 points, while Green had 23 and Crone 12.

Hot shooting brought Loyola back from an early 5-point deficit, and Schilb scored 13 straight points for the Ramblers in a 4-minute stretch midway through the first half.

A 3-pointer by Schilb gave Loyola its first lead at 22-21, then he was fouled on a 3-point attempt on the next possession and hit all three free throws for a 25-21 lead. Butler pulled to 35-33 with a 3-pointer by Green and had a chance to tie or go ahead, but Graves missed a shot, the Ramblers rebounded and Schilb hit another trey with 7 seconds left in the half.