Loyola-Chicago (13-9) at Wright State (14-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, February 4, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Wright State Nutter Center (11,000) -- Dayton, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: Loyola 6-4, WSU 8-2. Away Record: Loyola 6-4, WSU 5-5. Neutral Record: Loyola 1-1, WSU 1-1. Conference Record: Loyola 3-6, WSU 5-4. Series Record: Wright State leads, 23-15.
GAME NOTES: The Wright State Raiders try to bring an end to a three-game slide on Monday night when they host the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers in Horizon League action at the Nutter Center in Dayton.
Wright State, which is closing out a three-game homestand with this contest, has dropped four of the last five outings and that includes an 83-76 final versus Detroit last Wednesday. With the most recent defeat, WSU dropped to 5-4 in conference play and that has the Raiders tied with Youngstown State for fourth place in the standings.
Unlike the Raiders, Loyola did not have a chance to rest this past weekend, instead tangling with Green Bay at home in what turned into a 73-65 loss for the hosts. The defeat was the second in the last three games, and moved them to just 3-6 in conference, which means they are now tied with Cleveland State for seventh in the standings.
Wright State won the first meeting of the season last month by a slim 62-61 score on the road, as Reggie Arceneaux scored a career-high 29 points and also converted what proved to be the game-winning 3-pointer with 1:35 left in regulation. The setback for the Ramblers has them now trailing in the all-time series by a 23-15 margin.
Sure, Loyola forced the Phoenix into 13 turnovers and watched the visitors shoot only 62.5 percent at the free-throw line, but still the Ramblers permitted Green Bay to knock down 57.8 percent from the floor in route to the eight-point win over the weekend. Ben Averkamp led the Loyola offense with 17 points, Christian Thomas tacked on 16, Jordan Hicks 15 points and Cully Payne 10 points and a game-high eight assists in the losing effort. Payne now has 41 assists through nine league bouts and is third on the team in scoring with 8.7 ppg, but it doesn't help that he is shooting just 36.2 percent from the field. Averkamp (15.2 ppg) and Thomas (13.9 ppg) have combined for better than 12 rpg and 69 of the squad's 105 conversions at the charity stripe.
Even though the Raiders forced 21 turnovers in their last outing, they also allowed Detroit to make good on both 54.2 percent from the floor and 9-of-19 behind the 3-point line in the outing. Jerran Young came off the bench to score a team-best 14 points, followed by Reggie Arceneaux and Kendall Griffin with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Cole Darling came up a rebound shy of a double-double as he posted 10 points. One of the better defensive teams in the conference, Wright State has limited opponents to only 58.5 ppg on the campaign, but the offense hasn't provided much separation with just 62.1 ppg at the same time. Darling leads the way with 11.1 ppg and Arceneaux checks in with 10.5 ppg and a team-best 66 assists, but those numbers still don't cover up the fact that he is shooting only 36.7 percent from the floor.
Wright State has had plenty of time to rest after the most recent setback, but that doesn't mean the team will be fully prepared for a Loyola squad that has revenge as a motivating factor on Monday night.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Loyola-Chicago 68, Wright State 62
02/04 10:31:06 ET