Loyola-Chicago (9-18) at Bradley (11-16)
GAME NOTES: The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers travel to Peoria to take on the Bradley Braves in a Missouri Valley Conference matchup at Carver Arena on Saturday night.
The Ramblers are struggling of late, having lost their last three and six of seven overall, including an 88-74 decision to No. 3 Wichita State on Wednesday night. Loyola is currently tied with Evansville for last place in the OVC.
The Braves have been trending downward as well, losing two in a row and they are 5-5 in their last 10. They fell to Illinois State on the road last Saturday night, 70-54, and sit in seventh place in the conference.
This is the 49th meeting between these two Illinois-based schools, with Bradley holding a 31-17 series advantage. Loyola has won each of the last two games at Carver Arena. Bradley won the first meeting between the two this season, 63-54.
Milton Doyle tallied 18 points for the Ramblers in the recent loss to the Shockers, while Jeff White and Devon Turk donated 14 and 13 points, respectively in defeat. It was a 39-32 game at the half, but Wichita State started the second half on a 13-4 run and the Ramblers never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
Doyle leads the group in scoring with 15.9 ppg and is also first with 95 assists, and Thomas checks in with 13.5 ppg and leads on the glass with 6.4 rpg, ahead of Doyle with his 4.5 rpg. Offensively, the Ramblers are producing just 66.8 ppg, with only the Braves scoring less in the MVC, compared to 68.5 ppg for the competition.
In the loss to Illinois State, Tyshon Pickett notched a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Braves, while Walt Lemon Jr. and Auston Barnes picked up 18 and 12 points, respectively. Illinois State claimed a slim 30-27 halftime lead and distanced themselves with 8-of-15 accuracy from 3-point range in the second half to secure the victory.
Lemon leads the Braves in scoring, averaging 17.8 ppg, good for third in the conference. Pickett (11.9 ppg) and Omari Grier (10.6 ppg) round out the scoring for Bradley. As a team, they rank last in the league with only 64.1 ppg. Luckily for them, they are holding foes to just 66.5 ppg, which is second in the MVC.
With these offensively-challenged squads, expect the better defense to make the difference. The Braves are among the conference's best at their own end. The Ramblers have yet to notch a victory on the road, so expect Bradley to squeak out a victory.
GAME NOTES: The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers travel to Peoria to take on the
Bradley Braves in a Missouri Valley Conference matchup at Carver Arena on
Saturday night.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: Carver Arena (11,094) -- Peoria, Illinois.
Television: MVC-TV, CSN-Chicago. Home Record: Loyola 8-5, Bradley 10-5. Away
Record: Loyola 0-12, Bradley 1-9. Neutral Record: Loyola 1-1, Bradley 0-2.
Conference Record: Loyola 4-11, Bradley 6-8. Series Record: Bradley leads,
31-17.Game Date and Time
Saturday, February 22, 8 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
Bradley 67, Loyola-Chicago 62