CHICAGO -- Chris Evans scored 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds Saturday in Kent State's 70-63 victory over BracketBusters foe Loyola of Chicago.
Christian Thomas led the Ramblers (14-14) with a career-high 31 points and 11 rebounds. Thomas, a sophomore, was 11 of 19 from the floor.
Loyola opened the game on a 20-9 run capped by Jordan Hicks' 3-pointer, but Kent State rallied to lead 38-33 at halftime. The Ramblers couldn't get closer than four points down the rest of the way.
The Ramblers still hold a 3-2 lead in the all-time series, which began with a 96-55 victory during the team's 1962-63 NCAA championship season. Saturday's game was the first between the schools since 1996.
Indiana guard James Blackmon Jr., who averaged 15.8 points in 13 games before being injured last season, has withdrawn from the NBA draft.
Isaiah Briscoe has decided to withdraw from the NBA draft and will return to Kentucky for his sophomore season. Marcus Lee intends to transfer.
The Big 12/SEC Challenge will again feature Kansas and Kentucky, this time at Rupp Arena. That's not the only exciting matchup in next season's midseason conference showdown.