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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, December 23, 4 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Rose Hill Gymnasium (3,470) -- Bronx, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Loyola 4-1, Fordham 4-1. Away Record: Loyola 0-4, Fordham 2-3. Neutral Record: Loyola 1-1, Fordham 0-0. Conference Record: Loyola 0-0, Fordham 0-0. Series Record: Loyola-Chicago leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: Both the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers and the Fordham Rams will try to bounce back from recent losses on Monday afternoon when they squads meet at Rose Hill Gymnasium for a non-conference bout.
Loyola is coming off a three-game homestand, and after beating Illinois- Chicago (73-70) and Campbell (80-68), it fell to Northern Illinois on Wednesday night, 55-49. The Ramblers are now 5-6 overall, which includes an 0-4 mark in true road games.
Meanwhile, Fordham is off to a solid start to the season, winning six of its first 10 games while owning a 4-1 ledger on its home floor. The Rams had been winners of four of five before Saturday's clash at Monmouth, which they dropped, 87-78.
Loyola won the only previous meeting between these teams back on Nov. 26, 2011, 64-50.
The Ramblers played outstanding defense in their most recent matchup, holding NIU to just 36.7 percent from the field while forcing 18 turnovers, but unfortunately they fell flat with their worst offensive performance of the season in the six-point setback, shooting just 35.4 percent with 16 turnovers themselves. Christian Thomas was able to overcome the struggles of his teammates by shooting 5-of-8 from the field and 6-of-6 from the foul line for 16 points, while Jeff White and Milton Doyle added 14 and 10 points, respectively.
On the season, Loyola shoots a lofty 48.3 percent from the field, but that success has only resulted in 68.2 points per game, as it only makes 5.1 3- pointers per contest and shoots just 70.1 percent from the foul line. Doyle is the team's leading scorer with 15.9 points per game, although he has more turnovers (32) than assists (29). Thomas (14.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg) is effective at forward, making nearly 57 percent of his field goal tries, and White (12.1 ppg) is nearly automatic from the charity stripe (38-of-43).
Fordham appeared to have its latest game well in hand up by 13 with less than 12 minutes to play, but Monmouth chipped away at that advantage down the stretch and eventually ended the game on a 17-1 run to capture the victory. Fordham shot a modest 42.1 percent from the field in the setback and lost both the rebounding (44-32) and turnover (15-14) battles. Jon Severe was outstanding in defeat, shooting 8-of-13 from 3-point range for a career-high 32 points. Branden Frazier (12 points) was just 2-of-11 from the field but helped make up for it with an 8-of-8 showing at the foul line.
Even though the Rams are sitting above .500 on the season, they still get outshot by their opponents from the field, 43 percent to 40.8 percent, and only score slightly more (76.4 ppg) than they allow (76.0 ppg). Severe's freshman campaign has been a strong one with 19.8 points per game, although he does so on just 35.5 percent field goal shooting. Frazier (18.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg) is also an outstanding scorer and cashes in at the stripe (59-of-66). Mandell Thomas (14.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg) rounds out an impressive scoring trio.
Fordham may be reeling after allowing a big lead disappear over the weekend, but on its home floor it should be able to get back on the winning track against an inconsistent Loyola squad which has not proven itself on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Fordham 73, Loyola-Chicago 68
12/23 10:33:57 ET