Loyola-Chicago (1-0) at Tennessee Tech (0-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 12, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Eblen Center (9,280) -- Cookeville, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: Loyola 1-0, TTU 0-0. Away Record: Loyola 0-0, TTU 0-1. Neutral Record: Loyola 0-0, TTU 0-0. Conference Record: Loyola 0-0, TTU 0-0. Series Record: Loyola-Chicago leads, 4-1.
GAME NOTES: The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers will hit the road for the first time in the 2013-14 season as they invade the Eblen Center for non-conference action against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles.
Loyola-Chicago notched a 76-72 victory over former Horizon League rival Milwaukee on Friday night to improve to 1-0 on the season. Coach Porter Moser managed to lead the team to victories in five of its last six non-conference road games last season. The Ramblers, who are in their first year as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, may have to overcome a learning curve as the 16-man roster has a combined total of 17 years of Division I experience. Loyola-Chicago appeared to be a seasoned unit in its opener though, as it committed just 11 turnovers compared to the Panthers' 18 miscues.
Coach Steve Payne's third season at Tennessee Tech began on Saturday with a 72-62 setback to the American Athletic Conference's South Florida Bulls in Tampa. The Golden Eagles are coming off a 12-17 season as their average of 64.8 points per game prevented them from finishing above the .500 mark. Although they were limited to just 62 points, committed 16 turnovers and went 6-of-22 from beyond the arc in the season-opening loss to the Bulls, they were going up against a program that has been a defensive powerhouse in an elite conference over the past few seasons under USF coach Stan Heath.
This will be the sixth meeting in history between Loyola-Chicago and Tennessee Tech and just the second encounter in Cookeville. The Ramblers own a 4-1 all- time series lead thanks to their hard-fought, 81-78 victory last season in the Windy City.
The trio of Jeff White, Milton Doyle and Christian Thomas spearheaded the charge for Loyola in its four-point win over Milwaukee. White, who averaged just 5.3 ppg as a freshman in 2012-13, shot out the gate with 23 points on 6- of-10 shooting from the floor. The 6-foot-1 sophomore guard also converted all 11 of his free-throw attempts, while the rest of the Ramblers combined to go just 10-of-22 at the charity stripe. Doyle, who originally attended Kansas before transferring back to his hometown of Chicago prior to last season, tallied 18 points in his program debut. Thomas added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds in a team-high 38 minutes of action.
No TTU player felt the wrath of the Bulls' tough defense worse than senior guard Jeremia Samarrippas, who finished with only three points on 1-of-10 from the floor, while committing seven turnovers. Samarrippas, who transferred into the program from SMU prior to last season, had a solid campaign in 2012-13 with averages of 9.5 points, 4.2 assists and 1.8 steals per tilt. Junior college transfer Ty Allen paced the Golden Eagles as he poured in 25 points, while Dennis Ogbe contributed five points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Nebraska transfer Josiah Moore provided a spark off the bench in his program debut with 15 points before he fouled out after 27 minutes. Starters Anthony Morse and Javon McKay were limited to nine minutes apiece due to four trouble as well.
TTU clearly did not have the discipline to tackle the Bulls, but the Golden Eagles also made it evident that they have a much more talented team in Cookeville than a season ago. Loyola is also an improved squad due to the activation of Doyle and the progress of White. These squads are evenly matched on paper, which means TTU will have a slight edge due to the homecourt advantage working in its favor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tennessee Tech 75, Loyola-Chicago 71
11/12 10:33:41 ET