CHICAGO -- Marques Townes poured in a career-high 32 points and added eight rebounds and five assists to propel Loyola-Chicago to an 86-64 romp over Drake on Tuesday night.
Townes hit 11 of 18 shots, including all four of his 3-pointers, and sank 6 of 6 free throws as the Ramblers (15-9, 8-3) grabbed sole possession of first place in the Missouri Valley Conference after Valparaiso hit the road and upset the previous leader Illinois State 69-53.
Townes had 21 points by halftime and Loyola-Chicago grabbed a 48-32 lead at intermission when freshman Cooper Kaifes tossed up a shot from three-quarters court and hit nothing but net. The Bulldogs (17-7, 6-5) pulled within 61-52 on Anthony Murphy's layup with 10:18 left in the game, but Cameron Krutwig sandwiched layups around another Kaife 3-pointer to push the Ramblers lead to 16.
Krutwig finished with 19 points and nine rebounds for the Ramblers. Clayton Custer added 14 points and Kaifes scored 12.
No. 2 Kansas readies for visit from No. 20 Colorado
Scrubbing all combinations involving two big men in the Kansas basketball lineup would be almost disingenuous to coach Bill Self, because the strategy contradicts presumed roster strengths.
No. 25 Utah State back home, ready for Fresno State
No. 25-ranked Utah State heads home Saturday for its first Mountain West Conference game at Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, hosting Fresno State in Logan, Utah.
Battle-tested No. 13 Oregon hosts Hawaii
Coming off a good showing in the Battle 4 Atlantis nonconference tournament in the Bahamas over Thanksgiving week, the Oregon Ducks take the court for a game for the first time in eight days when they host Hawaii on Saturday in Eugene.