Loyola Chicago handed Missouri State its fourth straight loss, leaving the Bears winless against the two teams many consider to be the best in the Missouri Valley Conference.
All four losses were at home, the first time MSU has lost four games at home since the 1962-63 season.
For a team that has talked about dealing with adversity, this certainly meets the criteria.
"Eventually there will be adversity, and this is adversity for us," head coach Dana Ford said. "You keep plowing through, keep digging and keeping leaning in holding onto the rope."
Loyola got off to a hot start again, leading 9-0 just two minutes into the game. Missouri State began to mount a response, getting the game as close as 20-16, but an inability to score had Loyola leading 35-22 with 3:36 to go in the first. By halftime it was 42-26.
Senior center Gaige Prim got into foul trouble early and spent more time on the bench in the first half than he normally does. Junior guard Demarcus Sharp had 12 points in the first half, being the only Bear who was a consistent threat to score. No other Bear had more than four points.
The second half opened with a 7-2 Ramblers run, and the Bears’ deficit continued to grow from there. Prim got his fifth foul with 9:10 left and Loyola up 55-38. The Ramblers controlled the game down the stretch and took the win 70-50.
MSU went 18-42 from the floor and 0-11 from three. In the two games against Drake and the two Loyola games, the Bears shot 8-54 from three.
Missouri State’s leading scorer was Sharp with 21 points. Sophomore Isiaih Mosley had 16.
After the team seemingly collapsed in the second half against Drake on Jan. 26 where the Bears blew a 15-point halftime lead, Sharp admitted it has stuck with him.
"We try not to," Sharp said. "But it's been stuck in my mind. We'll meet them again, but I cant be digging too much."
Missouri State plays next on the road at Illinois State on Feb. 5.
Follow Stephen Terrill on Twitter, @stevethe2nd
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