The Ramblers (7-11, 2-4 in the MVC) managed only one field goal in the final 3:40 as they dropped their third in four games. The Aces (9-10, 2-4) had lost four of five coming in.
Evansville rallied from a 22-18 deficit in the final minute of the first half, when Balentine hit a 3-pointer followed by a layup with two seconds showing for a 23-23 halftime tie, giving him 11 first half points.
Balentine hit another basket early in the second half as the Aces used a 12-2 run over the first 3:16 for a 35-25 lead. Loyola responded with a 14-4 surge, led by Thomas Christian's six points, to force a 39-39 tie with 9:30 left in regulation.
There were two more ties and four lead changes until Balentine broke the final 48-48 deadlock on a jumper with 1:21 to play and added two free throws with four seconds left to further extend the lead.
Although this was their first meeting as MVC members, the Ramblers and Aces are hardly strangers. The teams competed in the Horizon League for 15 seasons and Evansville holds a 21-16 lead in the series.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun