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PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — Freshman Jabari Smith had 14 points to help No. 19 Auburn regroup from a double-overtime loss and beat Loyola Chicago 62-53 in Thursday’s consolation round at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.

The Tigers (4-1) held the Ramblers to just two field goals over an 11-minute span in the second half, building a 10-point margin heading into the final minutes.

Auburn also did a better job of contesting Loyola Chicago’s outside shooters in the second half in particular, with the Ramblers making just 1 of 10 3-pointers after the break.

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Walker Kessler added 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for the Tigers. The 7-foot transfer from North Carolina helped keep Auburn in control of the glass with a 36-26 rebounding advantage as well as his work protecting the rim.

Marquise Kennedy scored 13 points to lead the Ramblers (4-2), who shot 62% in the first half. But Loyola Chicago’s offense struggled to string together baskets to build some rhythm, and the outside-shooting struggles after halftime were magnified as Auburn began to increase its late margin.

Loyola Chicago shot just 8 for 26 (31%) after halftime.

BIG PICTURE

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Auburn: The Tigers were coming off a wild 115-109 loss to No. 22 UConn in Wednesday’s first round. They had to get ready less than 24 hours later for this one against a team that reached the NCAA Sweet 16 last year. But Auburn played from in front for the final 16 minutes and remained in control of the first-ever meeting between the schools.

Loyola Chicago: The Ramblers lost their first-round game to Michigan State on a last-second alley-oop dunk. They responded with a strong offensive first half that included going 6 for 13 from behind the arc. But they missed their first seven 3s and didn’t connect on one until Kennedy’s 3 with 2:49 left and his team down eight.

UP NEXT

Auburn: The Tigers advanced to Friday’s fifth-place game to face the Arizona State-Syracuse winner.

Loyola Chicago: The Ramblers will play in Friday’s seventh-place game against the Arizona State-Syracuse loser.

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Tags: chicago news investigative auburn battle 4 atlantis college basketball loyola loyola ramblers chicago news investigative loyola chicago’s in the second half in control loyola chicago after halftime the ramblers the ramblers first round their first

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White Sox make critical move for another playoff run in 2022

The Chicago White Sox have made a big move in free agency, signing Leury Garcia to a new three-year contract. 

Luckily for Chicago White Sox fans who were worried about utilityman Leury Garcia leaving town during free agency, it’s not going to happen. That’s because the team has brought him back on a new three-year deal.

MLB insider Jon Heyman was the one to break the news, which surely fired up plenty of folks on the south side of Chicago. This comes after the White Sox made things official with the announcement of signing reliever Kendall Graveman.

Leury Garcia goes back to White Sox. 3 year deal.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 30, 2021

Leury Garcia signing with the White Sox is big news for the club

Garcia has been with the White Sox since 2013. What makes him such a key player for Chicago is his ability to play multiple different positions. Whether it be in the infield or outfield, Garcia is ready to make plays for this team and manager Tony La Russa.

This past season, Garcia appeared in 126 games. He hit .267, with five homers and 54 RBI. Defensively, he was incredibly sound as well. While he was receiving interest out in free agency, Chicago clearly didn’t want to see him head to a new team.

The White Sox are of course coming off a fantastic campaign in 2021, as they dominated play during the regular season and won the AL Central. Unfortunately for Chicago, their season was cut short in the postseason by the Houston Astros.

Looking ahead to next year, Chicago is poised to not only repeat as division champs, but also make plenty of noise once the playoffs arrive. Getting Garcia back to Guaranteed Rate Field is only going to help their chances in getting that done. Folks are jacked up over this Garcia news.

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