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Lafayette (4-11) at Loyola-Maryland (7-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, January 13, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reitz Arena (2,100) -- Baltimore, Maryland. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Lafayette 2-5, Loyola 4-2. Away Record: Lafayette 2-6, Loyola 3-6. Neutral Record: Lafayette 0-0, Loyola 0-0. Conference Record: Lafayette 0-4, Loyola 2-2. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: The Lafayette Leopards will try to put the brakes on a six-game slide when they visit the Greyhounds of Loyola-Maryland for a Patriot League tussle on Monday night.
Lafayette brings a dismal 4-11 record, 0-4 in Patriot League action, into the contest, reaching that mark by logging three distinct streaks over the first two months of competition. The Leopards opened the campaign with five straight losses, but then went on a four-game win streak, only to fall back to their losing ways with their current skid. Lafayette, which lost at home to Boston University on Saturday (89-78), is just 2-6 in true road games, and this is the first of two straight and three of the next four the team will play away from home.
While not quite as hapless of its counterpart this evening, Loyola has still had a disappointing season in its inaugural foray in the Patriot League, checking in at a game under .500 overall (7-8) and dead even in conference (2-2). The Greyhounds are coming off a 72-68 home triumph over Lehigh, and that victory stopped a brief two-game losing streak, while also serving as only their second win in the last eight games. Loyola is 4-2 at home this season, winning its last two at Reitz Arena.
There isn't much history between these two clubs, with this being only the third meeting. Both teams have a victory over the other to their credit, and this is the first encounter since Lafayette claimed a 69-64 win in Baltimore on Dec. 29, 1962.
Lafayette began the season with one of the top players in the Patriot League on its roster, as Seth Hinrichs started off like gangbusters in averaging 20.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 53.3 percent from the field, which included a stellar 47.2 percent effort from 3-point range. Unfortunately, the junior guard suffered a knee injury nine games in and is sidelined indefinitely. That leaves guys like Bryce Scott (14.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg), Dan Trist (13.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg), Joey Ptasinski (10.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg) and Nick Lindner (10.1 ppg, 4.0 apg) to pick up the slack for a team that is netting 75.1 ppg behind typical shooting efforts of .466 overall and .392 from beyond the arc. With the offense certainly doing its part, it's been a lax approach on defense (79.6 ppg, .471 FG percentage, .435 3-point FG percentage against) that has hurt the team the most.
In the recent loss to Boston University, Trist scored a game-high 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting and Lindner added 16 to go along with five assists. Ptasinski chipped in 13 points and Alan Flannigan tacked on 10 for the Leopards, who forced 16 turnovers, while committing only nine themselves. Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the field, but BU nailed 15 treys compared to only five for Lafayette.
While not nearly as potent an offensive team as Lafayette, Loyola does have the top scorer in the Patriot League on its roster in Dylon Cormier, who is averaging 22.5 ppg while also adding 6.0 rebounds and 2.1 steals per tilt to his impressive stat line. No other player is netting double figures for the Greyhounds, who have had their share of trouble stopping the opposition from doing pretty much what they want, particularly with regard to 3-point FG percentage against (.381) and rebounding margin (-8.1). Loyola does do a nice job in the turnover battle, winning it by nearly three per game as it goads the opposition into almost 15 giveaways per outing.
In Loyola's recent win over Lehigh, Cormier was high man for the 14th time in 15 games as he scored 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Cormier went 10- of-18 from the floor, helping the Greyhounds log an even 50 percent shooting effort. Jordan Latham added 14 points and six boards for the Greyhounds, who claimed a 16-8 edge in points at the foul line to aid in the victory.
In a battle between two lackluster squads, the nod goes to the home team which just so happens to have the Patriot's top performer on its side.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Loyola-Maryland 73, Lafayette 65
01/13 10:34:49 ET