McMurray Leads Men’s Basketball To Thrilling Win In MVC Opener

first_img Box Score (PDF) Next Game: Preview Story Links Full Schedule Roster Box Score (HTML) center_img Live Stats 1350 ESPN Des Moines The Valley On ESPN3 Listen Live Watch Live DES MOINES, Iowa – Junior De’Antae McMurray (Alton, Ill.) scored a career-high 24 points with six assists to lead the Drake University men’s basketball team to a 102-98 win over Loyola in the Missouri Valley Conference opener for both teams.McMurray was joined in scoring by Reed Timmer’s (New Berlin, Wis.) 23 points as the pair went 14-of-25 from the field on a night in which Drake (3-10, 1-0 MVC) shot 53.8 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from the three-point arc.”Our guys continue to be aggressive,” said Drake head coach Jeff Rutter. “I’m super proud of our guys, their effort, they way prepared and came out and played with confidence. De’Antae had a terrific night finding guys and getting his own.”Loyola (10-4, 0-1 MVC) was paced by 30 points and 10 rebounds from Donte Ingram. Despite Ingram’s efforts, Drake held a 13-rebound advantage on the glass. Drake, which has now scored 100 or more points in consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 1979, needed all 102 points to stave off a furious rally by the Ramblers in the final minutes of the game.With 4:40 left in the contest, the Bulldogs held a commanding 89-69 lead that was met with a 16-0 Loyola run to pull the Ramblers within four points, 89-85, with two minutes remaining.Drake stretched its lead back out to nine on a three-point play from Ore Arogundade (Chicago, Ill.) and was able to convert enough free throws in the final minute to keep the Ramblers down by at least two possessions. Three free throws from McMurray in the final 20 seconds helped secure the Bulldogs’ first win in a conference opener since the 2013-14 season.The Bulldogs built their cushion via a season-high 53 points in the opening half as both teams shot better than 55 percent from the field in a torrid first half in which Drake carried a 53-41 lead into halftime.Billy Wampler (Eau Claire, Wis.) scored all 16 of his points in the first half on 6-of-8 shooting and 4-of-5 from the arc as the Bulldogs made seven three-pointers in the first 20 minutes. The half featured six lead changes before the Bulldogs closed the half with seven-straight points.With just under 10 minutes left in the second half, Drake added to that lead via a 20-5 run to take its 20-point lead. McMurray hit three-straight three-pointers during that span to help give the Bulldogs enough of a lead to withstand Loyola’s late surge.The 200 combined points were the most in a regulation MVC game since Evansville and Indiana State combined to score 187 points in 1999.Drake takes to the road for its next two MVC contests starting with a Jan. 1 contest at SIU followed by a Jan. 4 date at Wichita State.Print Friendly Version at SIU 1/1/2017 – 4 p.m.last_img read more