Loyola Welcomes Southern Illinois For Wednesday Clash

Jan. 7, 2014

Southern Illinois (4-11, 0-2 MVC) at Loyola (6-8, 1-1 MVC)
Date & Time Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 | 7 p.m.
Location Chicago, Ill. | Gentile Arena
Coverage Comcast SportsNet Chicago | Live Audio | Game Tracker 
Additional Information Twitter | Facebook | Loyola Game Notes | Southern Illinois Game Notes 

Info Graphic

Storylines
- Loyola looks to put together back-to-back conference wins when it hosts Southern Illinois tonight at Gentile Arena
- The Ramblers are coming off one of their best performances of the season on Sunday, shooting 61% from the floor in an 89-57 win over Missouri State, Loyola's first-ever Missouri Valley Conference victory
- Sophomore sharpshooter Devon Turk poured in a career-high 30 points off the bench to pace five Ramblers in double figures in that game
- Christian Thomas, limited to a season-low 15 minutes due to foul trouble, tallied 10 points, the 30th consecutive game in which the St. Louis native has scored in double figures
- Tonight marks just the third meeting between the two schools, at opposite ends of the state, with Loyola winning both previous contests
- However, the teams have not met since a 68-57 Loyola victory back on Dec. 18, 1981 in Chicago
- Former SIU standout Bryan Mullins is in his first season as Loyola's Director of Basketball Operations. Mullins was a two-time MVC Defensive Player of the Year and helped the Salukis reach the Sweet 16 during the 2006-07 season

Loyola/Southern Illinois - The Series
Tonight marks just the third meeting between the two schools, located at opposite ends of the State of Illinois, with Loyola having won both prior meetings. In fact, Loyola's two meetings with SIU are its fewest against any of the other 12 Division I schools in Illinois, one less than the Ramblers' three lifetime games against Western Illinois. Interestingly, the teams' two matchups were in the same calendar year, with Loyola earning a 93-59 win on Jan. 27, 1981 and a 68-57 victory on Dec. 18 of that same year

Teammates Turning In 30+
In Milton Doyle and Devon Turk, Loyola has two high-scoring guards capable of putting up big numbers on any given night. Doyle scored 32 points last month in a win over Campbell and Turk is coming off a 30-point game on Sunday at Missouri State. The pair is the first set of Loyola teammates to score 30 points in a game in the same season since Blake Schilb and Majak Kou did it during the 2006-07 campaign

Doyle Climbs To Peak Of Valley
After his 32-point outburst in the win over Campbell, Milton Doyle swept the Missouri Valley weekly awards, taking home both MVC Player of the Week and MVC Newcomer of the Week honors on Dec. 16. Doyle took home the Newcomer of the Week award again this week, joining Illinois State's Daishon Knight as three-time winners this season. Doyle averaged 10.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in Loyola's first two Valley games

Most Under Moser
Loyola's offense has been extremely efficient as the players get more comfortable in head coach Porter Moser's system. The Ramblers' 89 points in the win over Missouri State were the most that LU has scored since Moser took over for the 2011-12 season. After reaching the 80-point plateau twice total in Moser's first two seasons, the Ramblers have already scored 80 or more three times this season (3-0, 1.000)

Cody's Coming Around
One of the bright spots over the last three games has been the play of sophomore Cody Johnson. A transfer from Western Nebraska CC, Johnson posted 11 points and five rebounds in a season-high 20 minutes off the bench at Fordham and continued his high-level play in the Valley opener at Indiana State, erupting for a season-high 15 points (6-8 FGs, 2-3 3FGs) in only 12 minutes. He moved into the starting lineup for the Missouri State game and continued to produce, finishing with 10 points (4-5 FGs) in 19 minutes. Johnson brings good size (6'10) and a nice shooting touch and could become an important member of the Loyola rotation as the Ramblers navigate through the MVC

It's Not How You Start, But How You Finish
Incredibly, Loyola is just 3-6 (.333) this season when leading or tied at halftime but is a respectable 3-2 (.600) when trailing at intermission. As the numblers below illustrate, the Ramblers had struggled after halftime lately, being outscored by an average of 17.0 ppg over its previous three games, but they were able to exorcise some of those demons on Sunday, outscoring Missouri State 47-29 in the second half to turn a 14-point halftime lead into a 32-point victory

Super Sub
Sophomore Devon Turk gives Loyola an added dimension with his shooting ability and he and Matt O'Leary have provided some, relatively, steady production off the bench. After a rough stretch from the reserves, the Ramblers' bench has picked it up lately, averaging 32.0 points per game over their last three games, and Turk himself accounted for 30 points on Sunday against Missouri State (Loyola had 38 bench points as a team). Turk enters today's game third in the MVC in bench scoring

Happy At Home
While Loyola has struggled away from home this season, the Ramblers have played extremely well at home, posting a 5-1 (.833) record in Gentile Arena. Loyola has shot over 50% in each of their five home wins - including a 61% effort against Missouri State - and are tickling the twine at a 54% clip overall in its home gym