By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO -- Matt Howard scored 19 points, and No. 16 Butler won its sixth straight game, pulling away for a 66-55 victory over Loyola of Chicago on Monday night.
The Bulldogs (14-1, 3-1 Horizon League) improved to 14-1 for the second straight season and the fifth time in the program's history, but it wasn't easy. They went on a 14-3 run midway through the second half to take a 54-40 lead.
Butler was 9-for-20 from 3-point range, but Howard's work inside was the difference. He scored seven points during the deciding run and was 6-of-10 from the field for the game.
Mike Green added 15 points for the Bulldogs.
J.R. Blount scored 16 points for Loyola (5-10, 1-4), while Andy Polka had 14 points and eight rebounds. The Ramblers fell five games under .500 for the first time since 2004-05, when they lost 16 of their first 23 and finished 13-17 in coach Jim Whetsell's first season.
The Ramblers pulled within 40-37 after Tracy Robinson stole an inbounds pass and broke the other way for a layup with 10:23 left. But Howard tipped in A.J. Graves' missed layup, got fouled and completed the three-point play to ignite the deciding run. He added a layup and two more free throws, and Zach Hahn's 3-pointer made it 54-40 with 6:24 left.