Indiana State (14-4) at Loyola-Chicago (7-11)
GAME NOTES: Both the Indiana State Sycamores and Loyola-Chicago Ramblers are looking to rebound from conference losses as they clash in Missouri Valley Conference action at the Gentile Center.
Indiana State had a seven-game win streak going before No. 5-ranked Wichita State defeated the Sycamores, 68-48, in Kansas. It was Indiana State's first conference loss this season, which now sets the team a game behind Wichita State in the conference rankings.
Loyola-Chicago has lost three of its past four games, including the most recent outing versus Evansville, 53-48. At 2-4 in the Missouri Valley this season, the Ramblers sit four games back of Wichita State in the conference standings.
Indiana State holds a slim all-time series lead between the two programs, 9-7. This is the second time this season the Ramblers and Sycamores have met on the court, with Indiana State taking a 70-58 decision at the Hulman Center on New Year's Day.
At No. 5 in the country, Wichita State was the highest ranked opponent Indiana State has faced since 1979. The Sycamores proved to be no match in front of the sellout crowd at Koch Arena, falling hard on the road. Dawon Cummings was the only Sycamores player to record a double-digit point total, posting 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor. The Sycamores shot just 31.4 percent from the field in the contest, including 25 percent from 3-point range.
Jake Odum, who scored seven points in the loss to Wichita State, still leads the Sycamores in scoring this season with 12.2 ppg on 41.8 percent shooting. Odum also tops the team with 91 assists this season and a second-best 28 steals. Manny Arop isn't far behind Odum's average at 12 ppg on 48.2 percent shooting. The Sycamores as a unit average 75.1 ppg on 47.8 percent shooting from the floor.
Neither team was able to get much going in the first half of Loyola-Chicago's loss to Evansville Saturday, as the Ramblers held the Purple Aces scoreless for a 6:15 stretch in the first half. That allowed the Ramblers to take a lead, but it ultimately didn't last. Christian Thomas led Loyola-Chicago with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Milton Doyle scored 10 in the losing effort. Loyola-Chicago turned the ball over 17 times in the game, and shot 40.9 percent from the floor.
Doyle and Thomas have separated themselves from the rest of the Ramblers in terms of scoring averages. Doyle paces the team with 15.1 ppg, while Thomas is less than one point behind by average at 14.2 ppg. Thomas is shooting an impressive 56.9 percent from the field in 18 contests, and leads the team with a 6.7 rpg average. Doyle leads the squad with 58 assists this season, with Jeff White right behind at 57 assists. The Ramblers have scored 66.7 ppg in their 18 contests played.
Loyola-Chicago hasn't had much success this season since conference play got underway, while the opposite is true for Indiana State. The Sycamores have too much depth and talent, and should defeat the Ramblers for the second time this season.
GAME NOTES: Both the Indiana State Sycamores and Loyola-Chicago Ramblers are
looking to rebound from conference losses as they clash in Missouri Valley
Conference action at the Gentile Center.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: Joseph J. Gentile Center (4,486) -- Chicago, Illinois.
Television: None. Home Record: Indiana State 7-0, Loyola-Chicago 6-2. Away
record: Indiana State 6-3, Loyola-Chicago 0-8. Neutral Record: Indiana State
1-1, Loyola-Chicago 1-1. Conference Record: Indiana State 5-1, Loyola-Chicago
2-4. Series Record: Indiana State leads, 9-7.Game Date and Time
Wednesday, January 22, 8 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
Indiana State 77, Loyola-Chicago 66