Loyola-Maryland (18-9) at Siena (6-20)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Times Union Center (8,786) -- Albany, New York. Television: none. Home Record: Loyola 10-3, Siena 3-8. Away Record: Loyola 5-6, Siena 2-11. Neutral Record: Loyola 3-0, Siena 1-1. Conference Record: Loyola 10-5, Siena 4-11. Series Record: Siena leads, 37-18.
GAME NOTES: Winners in three of their last four games and nearing first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the Loyola-Maryland Greyhounds face the struggling Siena Saints on Saturday night.
These two teams met eight days ago with the Greyhounds claiming a 63-51 home triumph. Erik Etherly scored a game-high 25 points in that contest to lead Loyola to the victory.
The Greyhounds are coming off a 68-64 home win over Canisius on Thursday. Robert Olson posted 18 points to guide Loyola, which also received 17 points from Dylon Cormier and 13 from Julius Brooks. Thursday marked the first time Brooks started a game since Nov. 28, and the move paid off. The 6-foot-9 senior forward is averaging 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 27 games played, but he has shot a career-best 62.2 percent from the field.
Cormier leads the Greyhounds at 16.7 ppg, while Etherly (15.1 ppg) and Olson (12.6 ppg) are also averaging double figures. Anthony Winbush matches his point production (6.7 ppg) with his rebounding (6.7 rpg), which leads Loyola. The Greyhounds have not performed well from beyond the arc, as their 29.6 percent 3-point shooting is the worst in the MAAC. Conversely, they are giving up just 29.7 percent from long distance.
The Saints, losers of four in a row and seven of their last nine contests overall, have had trouble in the final 20 minutes of games over the last month. They've been outscored in the second half in each of their last nine games by an average of nine points. To make matters worse, sophomore shooting guard Rakeem Brookins missed Thursday's 74-52 road loss to Fairfield due to a back injury. Siena has had more turnovers than assists in all but one game this season, and they rank 33rd of 347 Division I schools in assist-to- turnover ratio. Additionally, the Saints, who are allowing teams to shoot 42.6 percent from the field, are 0-13 when the opposition shoots 40 percent or better from the floor.
Despite their problems with ball control, the Saints have gotten solid distribution as four players average double figures in the scoring column. O.D. Anosike (12.8 ppg) leads the team in scoring and is first in the MAAC in rebounding (11.7 rpg), and he is tied at the top of that category in the country. Anosike is bidding to become just the second back-to-back rebounding champion since 1973 (Paul Millsap, Louisiana Tech, 2003-06). Brookins (and Rob Poole both average 11.9 ppg, followed by Evan Hymes (11.2 ppg).
The Greyhounds, who have won the last five in the series, should get enough production from Cormier, Etherly and Olson to extend Siena's skid. The current five-game win streak is the longest for any MAAC school against Siena since Marist won six in a row from 2004-07. This will also be the final MAAC meeting between the Greyhounds and Saints. Loyola is set to join the Patriot League next season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Loyola-Maryland 65, Siena 58
02/16 10:43:58 ET