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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 1, 3:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hulman Center (10,200) -- Terre Haute, Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: Loyola Chicago 4-1, Indiana State 4-0. Away Record: Loyola Chicago 0-5, Indiana State 3-2. Neutral Record: Loyola Chicago 1-1, Indiana State 2-1. Conference Record: Loyola Chicago 0-0, Indiana State 0-0. Series Record: Indiana State 8-7.
GAME NOTES: The Indiana State Sycamores, winners of six of their last seven games, try to improve on an impressive start to the season as they host the Loyola Chicago Ramblers in Missouri Valley Conference action on New Year's Day.
It's Loyola's first game since Dec. 23 before the team took a holiday break. The Ramblers enter the contest having lost their last two games, including the Dec. 23 matchup against Fordham, 83-69, in the Bronx.
Indiana State opens up conference play having won two straight games, scoring over 80 points in both wins. The Sycamores are coming off an 85-73 win over Belmont at home. This will be the final contest in a three-game homestand for ISU.
The Sycamores hold the series advantage, 8-7, over the Ramblers as these two teams meet for the 16th time in program history.
Against Fordham, the visiting Ramblers couldn't do much to stop the Rams' second-half effort, as Fordham shot 58 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes, rallying from a nine-point halftime deficit to win. Loyola's Devon Turk scored 17 points in the loss, hitting five 3-pointers in the process. The 17 points ties Turk's season high. Both teams struggled out of the gate offensively, with the score tied 6-6 after over six minutes of play. The Ramblers then went on a surge late in the first half to take a 38-29 halftime lead. But Fordham came out firing as soon as the second half began, going on a 12-2 run to take the lead with just under four minutes gone. Cody Johnson scored a season-high 11 points for Loyola and grabbed five rebounds in the loss.
Milton Doyle leads the Ramblers in scoring this season with 15.1 ppg on 43.4 percent shooting from the floor. Christian Thomas is second and not too far behind Doyle's scoring average with 14 ppg on 56.2 percent shooting from the field. Thomas also leads the team in rebounds, pulling down 6.6 rpg. The Ramblers haven't lost more than two games in a row all season long, but haven't won a road game yet.
Indiana State improved to 9-3 on the season with its second victory over Belmont this season. The Sycamores were led by Jake Odum, who scored a season- high 25 points in the victory. The senior shot 7-of-14 from the floor and hit his only 3-point attempt of the game. He finished the game 10-of-11 from the free-throw line as well. Four other Indiana State players scored in double figures, as Manny Arop poured in 16, while three other Sycamore players recorded 10 points. Indiana State outrebounded Belmont, 35-29, in the contest and held a 42-20 edge in points in the paint. The Sycamores forced 19 turnovers as well.
Odum leads the Sycamores in scoring this season, averaging 13.4 ppg. He is also second on the team in steals (20) and leads the team in rebounds per game (4.5) and total assists (61). Arop and Justin Gant are the other Sycamore players averaging in double figures this season, with Arop scoring 12.9 ppg and Gant at 12.8 ppg.
Indiana State is perfect at home this season, and will look to remain that way as conference play opens up in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Indiana State 77, Loyola Chicago 66
01/01 10:30:56 ET
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