Loyola Chicago wins CBI semifinal
CHICAGO (AP) It's been more than 50 years since Loyola Chicago played for any postseason championship.
The College Basketball Invitational isn't the NCAA Tournament, but the Ramblers will take it. They advanced to the best-of-3 CBI championship series with a 63-48 victory over Seattle on Wednesday night.
''Our goal is the NCAA Tournament,'' Loyola coach Porter Moser said. ''But this isn't a negative. This is a huge positive. This is part of the process.''
Loyola hosts Louisiana-Monroe in Game 1 on Monday. The Ramblers, the 1963 NCAA champions, haven't been in any postseason tournament since the 1985 NCAA Tournament.
It was Seattle's first postseason appearance of any kind since 1969.
Loyola (22-13) trailed by five points with 12:10 remaining then outscored Seattle 34-14 the rest of the way, including a 14-0 run that broke the game open.
''I was just trying to make a play for my teammates or myself,'' Earl Peterson said of his running one-hander from the right baseline that tied the game at 40 and triggered the run. ''Then we got stops, and all we had to do was get down the court and make a bucket. And we did.''
The Ramblers scored on six of their last seven shots, cracking the zone Seattle had used so effectively for most of the game.
Peterson and Devon Turk, who hit five 3-pointers, both scored 15 points to lead Loyola. Milton Doyle scored all nine of his points in the second half.
''Once I started hitting, they shaded the zone over to me, and that opened it up for Earl and Milt,'' Turk said.
The grind also got to the Redhawks, who were without backup center Shore Adenekan because of a sore rotator cuff for most of the game. That meant the burden fell on 7-foot Jack Crook, who played 26 minutes and fouled out with 2:52 to play.
''They got transition baskets on us a couple of times, and we got kind of dead-legged,'' Seattle coach Cameron Dollar said.
William Powell had 12 points for the Redhawks (18-16) and Jadon Cohee added 10.
Seattle: Dollar compares the CBI Tournament to the many bowl games on the football calendar. ''This is like the Peach Bowl,'' Dollar said. ''It was a tremendous experience for us. It puts us in a unique situation with unique games.''
Loyola: Moser has put together consecutive 20-plus win seasons at Loyola, and says the job is only beginning. ''We watched the (NCAA) selection show by ourselves this year in our new theater. Next year, we want to watch it with 3,000 people with us.''
Seattle: season over.
Loyola: hosts Louisiana-Monroe in Game 1 on Monday.
Seattle committed 22 turnovers after averaging 13.4 in their first 33 contests. ... Take out Peterson and Turk, and Loyola hit only 12 of 31 shots from the field.