Valparaiso (20-7) at Loyola-Chicago (14-12)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, February 19, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gentile Arena (4,486) -- Chicago, Illinois. Television:
None. Home Record: Valpo 12-2, Loyola 7-4. Away Record: Valpo 8-5, Loyola 6-7.
Neutral Record: Valpo 0-0, Loyola 1-1. Conference Record: Valpo 10-3, Loyola
4-9. Series Record: Loyola-Chicago leads, 34-14.
GAME NOTES: The Valparaiso Crusaders look to avenge one of their three Horizon
League losses as they visit the Windy City to tangle with the Loyola-Chicago
Ramblers at Gentile Arena.
The Ramblers downed Valpo, 63-54, on Jan. 2 in the conference opener for both
sides at the ARC. The victory extended Loyola's all-time series lead to 34-14.
Bryce Drew's Crusaders managed to go 10-1 against Horizon League foes since
Jan. 2 until it fell at home, 84-74, to Detroit on Saturday. The loss dropped
Valpo to a 20-7 overall record. Matt Kenney led five players in double figures
with 18 points off the bench against the Titans. Will Bogan tallied 15 points
while Erik Buggs chipped in 12 points and eight assists.
Ryan Broekhoff, who leads Valpo with 16.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per tilt,
finished with just 10 points and four boards in the loss to Detroit. Kevin Van
Wijk, who is second in both scoring (12.8) and rebounding (5.0), added 10
points and was just a rebound shy of a double-double. The balanced effort that
has usually guided the Crusaders to wins is helping them produce 71.1 ppg,
which is the third best scoring offense average in the Horizon League. Valpo
is also the owner of the third best scoring defense mark with only 62.0 points
allowed per tilt.
The Ramblers returned home after a fruitless three-game road swing that
included setbacks to Wright State (62-59), Youngstown State (60-59) and
Milwaukee (71-53) to surprise their crosstown rival Illinois-Chicago with a
69-60 upset. The win ended the Ramblers four-game losing slide and rose Loyola
to a 14-12 record. The team has been without its senior leader Ben Averkamp
for the past three games with a concussion.
With Averkamp's 15.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game missing, Christian
Thomas registered a double-double of 23 points and 11 boards for Loyola
against the Flames. Jordan Hicks added 18 points and Devon Turk chipped in 10
points. Loyola is slightly ahead of Valpo in the scoring defense column with
60.8 points allowed per game.
Thomas averages 10.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per tilt, but none of the other
Ramblers are scoring in double figures. Turk, Cully Payne and Hicks will all
need to step up their play for Loyola if Averkamp is unable to suit up again.
The Ramblers will have a tough time repeating their success against the
Crusaders without Averkamp. Valpo's one-two punch at forward is going to be
the key to its victory, which is needed to stay at the peak of the Horizon
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Valparaiso 67, Loyola-Chicago 60
02/19 10:33:28 ET