Wichita, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - Cleanthony Early scored 23 points to carry No. 4 Wichita State past Loyola-Chicago, 57-45, in Missouri Valley Conference play on Tuesday.
Early shot 7-of-14 from the field and knocked down four of the Shockers' (22-0, 9-0 MVC) seven 3-pointers. The rest of the Wichita State starters made just seven field goals combined.
Fred VanVleet had just three points, a season-low, but helped the cause in other ways by tallying team-highs of nine assists and eight rebounds. Tekele Cotton and Ron Baker netted seven points apiece as WSU remained one of just three unbeaten teams in the nation.
Milton Doyle paced Loyola (8-13, 3-6) with 16 points in the setback.
Early and VanVleet both recorded three-point plays in the early stages of this one, boosting the Shockers to an early 6-2 edge. Cotton's 3-pointer made it 19-10 midway through the first period, and Wichita State was well on its way to extending the school's record winning streak to 22 games.
The lead shrunk to 22-16 after a Christian Thomas free throw at 5:41, but a pair at the line from Nick Wiggins on the ensuing Wichita touch sparked a 14-0 run that had the hosts in front by 20 late in the period. It was 36-18 at halftime.
Loyola outscored the Shockers 27-21 over the final 20 minutes. Wichita shot just 6-of-26 from the field in the second half, missing 10 of 13 treys in the process.
Early was the lone Shocker to register points during a 10 1/2 minute stretch midway through the frame. Baker's layup at 5:30 finally broke the spell, and WSU's defense made enough stops late to keep the Ramblers at arm's length.
Wichita State outrebounded Loyola 44-28 ... The Shockers lead the all-time series 19-9 ... Loyola shot just 3-of-16 from the 3-point line and 6-of-12 on free throws.