Loyola-Chicago 69, DePaul 61: Cully Payne scored 15 of his 24 points in the second half – including a pair of key 3-pointers – as the Ramblers defeated the host Blue Demons for the first time since 1989, ending an 11-game losing streak to their city rival.
Sophomore Christian Thomas recorded his first double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds for Loyola (9-3), which collected its first win over a Big East opponent since 1994.
Brandon Young finished with 18 points for DePaul (9-4), which also saw its nine-game winning streak against Chicagoland opponents come to a halt.
Unlike last season’s meeting when the Blue Demons raced out to a 30-point halftime lead, the Ramblers overcame an early nine-point deficit to knot the game at 33 at intermission.
DePaul took a brief lead in the early minutes of the second half, but Payne’s first 3-pointer at the 17:20 mark gave Loyola its first lead and his second 3-pointer helped spark a 12-1 run after the Blue Demons had pulled to within 47-46 with 9:31 remaining. DePaul could get no closer than six points thereafter.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Blue Demons F Cleveland Melvin left the game with 10:23 remaining in the first half after falling face-first on the floor when he was submarined by Loyola’s Matt O’Leary on a shot attempt. Melvin had bleeding near his left eye, but did not require stitches. He returned to the game less than three minutes later, but converted only two free throws the rest of the way and saw his 26-game streak of scoring in double figures snapped. … DePaul missed its chance to go undefeated in December for the first time since 1986. … Payne – a transfer from Iowa – had scored just 28 points combined over his previous four games.