Loyola-Maryland (15-5) at Canisius (4-16)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 29th, 2:15 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Koessler Athletic Center (2,176) -- Buffalo, New York. Television: Local. Home Record: Loyola-Maryland 7-1, Canisius 2-7. Away Record: Loyola-Maryland 8-4, Canisius 2-9. Neutral Record: Loyola-Maryland 0-0, Canisius 0-0. Conference Record: Loyola-Maryland 8-2, Canisius 1-9. Series Record: Canisius leads. 33-20
GAMES NOTES: Loyola-Maryland will try to make it two wins against Canisius this season and keep pace at the top of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings when the league opponents meet at the Koessler Athletic Center this afternoon.
Canisius took a loss in the first meeting between these teams this season by a score of 77-62. Loyola-Maryland is still behind in the all-time series though with the Golden Griffins holding a 33-20 edge.
Loyola-Maryland is in a three-way tie for first in the MAAC standings with Iona and Manhattan. The Greyhounds have won three straight and six of the last seven against conference opponents to put their league record at 8-2. Loyola- Maryland will be at home against Rider in its next matchup.
Canisius currently sits at the bottom of the MAAC standings managing just a 1-9 record in league play and a 4-16 record overall. The Golden Griffins beat Marist on January 13th but have since lost four straight as well as seven of the last eight. Next up Canisius will be on the road against Iona.
Loyola-Maryland's three game winning streak has been built on defense. The Greyhound have held each of their last three opponents to less than 60 points including the teams 69-57 win over Niagara on Friday. The team is now averaging 67.9 points per game and allowing 64.6 for a scoring differential of +3.3. Sophomore guard Dylon Cormier is normally the leading offensive threat at 14.5 points per game, but is coming off of his worst performance of the season when he was held scoreless against Niagara. With Cormier limited sophomore forward Justin Drummond (11.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg) stepped in and scored a 21 points. It is the third time he has scored over 20 points in a game this season and ended a two game slide out of double figures for him. Junior forward Erik Etherly had 18 points in the win to push is scoring averaging to 12.9 points per game. Etherly has also led a strong rebounding squad at 7.7 boards per game. Senior forward Shane Walker (8.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg) has also been a reliable man on the blocks for the Greyhounds.
Canisius is not hopeless on offense, despite its poor record, as the Golden Griffins put in 64.5 points per game. However the team is not efficient enough in shooting the ball netting only 39.7 percent of its attempts from the floor. Also hampering Canisius is the teams poor defense that allows 75.2 points per game. In the teams most recent loss to Manhattan, the Golden Griffins scored by a score of 78-66 and shot just 38.3 percent from the floor and allowed the Jaspers George Beamon to explode for 33 points. Canisius has been able to score better than might be expected due to the scoring of a pair of junior guards in Harold Washington and Alshwan Hymes. Washington is fourth in the conference in scoring putting in 17.2 points per game, but has scored in double figures in three of the last five games after doing so in the first 14 games of the season. Hymes scores 14.7 points per game and has been in double figures in seven straight since a season low seven points in a loss to Fairfield on New Year's Day. Junior guard Gaby Belardo (11.5 ppg) can also fill it up and led the team with 18 points in the loss to Manhattan.
Loyola-Maryland has its sights set on competing for a MAAC conference title and winning on the road against a faltering Canisius team is a game the Greyhounds should win if they want to make that happen. With the ability to limit teams on offense and the balance in scoring from the front and backcourts, Loyola-Maryland will end up on top.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Loyola-Maryland 71, Canisius 60
01/29 10:40:08 ET