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Loyola Marymount (6-3) at Valparaiso (6-5)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 14, 2:05 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: The ARC (5,000) -- Valparaiso, Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: Loyola Marymount 1-0, Valparaiso 5-2. Away Record: Loyola Marymount 2-1, Valparaiso 1-3. Neutral Record: Loyola Marymount 3-2, Valparaiso 0-0. Conference Record: Loyola Marymount 0-0, Valparaiso 0-0. Series Record: Loyola Marymount leads, 1-0.

GAME NOTES: A 15,000-mile road trip finally ends for Loyola Marymount Saturday when the Lions visit the Valparaiso Crusaders in a non-conference affair.

Loyola Marymount has traveled plenty since its lone home game against Northern Arizona on Nov. 17. The Lions flew across the country to the Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam, returned to California for a road test against UC Riverside, went back to the east coast for a meeting with Pittsburgh and end the tiresome trek Saturday in Indiana after finals week gave the Lions some much-needed rest from all the jet lag.

The Lions dropped a disappointing 85-68 decision to Pittsburgh last Friday. They allowed the Panthers to connect on a eye-popping 58.3 percent of their shots and were beaten up in the paint by a wide 54-32 margin. Anthony Ireland tallied a game-high 20 points and handed out five assists, while Evan Payne pitched in with 16 points. Gabe Levin posted a double-double consisting of 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds and Ben Dickinson tacked on 10 points of his own for the visitors.

Points have not been hard to come by for Loyola Marymount. Ireland leads four double-digit scorers with 19.0 ppg, while also doling out more than five assists each time out. Levin and Payne are chipping in just under 13 ppg apiece, and Dickinson is good for 10.8 ppg.

Valparaiso dropped a heartbreaker its last time out, as a put-back by Mike McCall Jr. just before the buzzer gave Saint Louis a 67-65 victory at the ARC.

LaVonte Dority tied the game with a lay up with 3.8 seconds to play, but the Billikens answered and denied the Crusaders from extending their two-game win streak. Dority had 21 points in the loss but committed four of the team's 17 turnovers.

Dority and Alex Peters are Valpo's 3-point threats, as each are hitting over 40 percent from behind the arc en route to 16.0 and 13.9 ppg averages, respectively. Jordan Coleman rounds out the double-digit scorers with 11.6 ppg.

A .502 field goal percentage for the season has allowed the Crusaders to average 82.5 ppg, which is 12 more points than they have allowed per outing. They are also pulling down eight more rebounds than their opponents.

These programs played last season, and the Lions claimed a 61-53 win in the first-ever meeting. It should be a high-scoring battle this time around, and expect the Crusaders to get a little bit of a boost on their home floor to pull out the victory.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Valparaiso 85, Loyola Marymount 83

12/14 10:37:44 ET