Loyola-Chicago (6-9) at Illinois State (8-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 11, 8:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Redbird Arena (10,200) -- Normal, Illinois.
Television: None. Home Record: Loyola Chicago 5-2, Illinois State 5-2. Away
Record: Loyola Chicago 0-6, Illinois State 2-4. Neutral Record: Loyola Chicago
1-1, Illinois State 1-1. Conference Record: Loyola Chicago 1-2, Illinois State
1-2. Series Record: Illinois State leads, 7-3.
GAME NOTES: Loyola-Chicago's first season in the Missouri Valley Conference
has not gotten off to a great start, and things stay tough Saturday when the
Ramblers travel to Illinois State to take on the Redbirds.
Following a blowout win over Missouri State on Sunday, Loyola was poised to
post back-to-back wins on Wednesday but dropped a 71-67 decision to Southern
Illinois, which scored the final six points to pull out the win. Milton Doyle,
who finished with 17 points, had a chance to send the game into overtime but
missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with one second remaining.
Loyola was saddled with 17 turnovers, eight of which were attributed to Doyle,
who still leads the team with 14.6 ppg. Christian Thomas, who sits at 14.5
ppg, recorded his third double-double of the season, leading the Ramblers with
21 points and 12 rebounds, while Devon Turk provided 15 points -- all on 3-
pointers -- in the setback.
The Redbirds are coming off a 66-47 defeat at the hands of No. 6 Wichita
State. Illinois State never led, committed 15 turnovers and only had one
player score in double figures, as Bobby Hunter totaled 11 points off the
bench. The point total was the lowest on the season for the Redbirds, but that
was to be expected against a national power like Wichita State.
Illinois State is averaging 70.3 ppg, led by Daishon Knight's 13.6 ppg
average. Zach Lofton is chipping in with 11.5 ppg, thanks mostly to his 85.2
percent effort at the free-throw line, and Hunter rounds out the double-digit
scorers at 10.1. Lofton has made a mere 29.2 percent of his field goals and
26.5 percent beyond the arc, and Knight has had his troubles from the field
with only 36.9 percent shooting. Granted, his 34.2 percent out on the
perimeter is much better than Lofton's, but still the team as a whole comes in
at only 33.1 percent from the outside.
Loyola's Porter Moser was the head coach at Illinois State from 2003-07. These
instate and now conference rivals have met 10 times previously, with Illinois
State winning seven of those matchups. Loyola's only road win against Illinois
State came on Jan. 21, 1991, and unless the Ramblers can figure out how to
close games, that streak will likely continue.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Illinois State 80, Loyola Chicago 75
01/11 10:35:49 ET
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