Loyola Closes Out Season Series With Indiana State

Jan. 21, 2014

Indiana State (14-4, 5-1 MVC) at Loyola (7-11, 2-4 MVC)
Date & Time Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 | 7 p.m.
Location Chicago, Ill. | Gentile Arena
Coverage Live Video  | Live Audio | Game Tracker 
Additional Information Twitter | Facebook | Loyola Game Notes | Indiana State Game Notes 

Storylines
- Loyola attempts to continue its solid home form when it wraps up the regular-season series with Indiana State tonight at Gentile Arena
- While this is the second meeting between the teams in three weeks, the Ramblers still have yet to face Bradley, Northern Iowa or Wichita State
- Indiana State used a 12-1 run midway through the second half to break open a tight game in an eventual 70-58 win over the Ramblers in the Valley opener for both teams on Jan. 1 in Terre Haute
- Christian Thomas finished 8-of-12 from the floor and posted a game-high 19 points in that game
- Loyola is coming off a 53-48 road loss on Saturday at Evansville in which it turned the ball over 18 times en route to a season-low point total
- The teams were tied at 23 at halftime, the third straight game that LU has been tied at half
- Tonight is the 17th meeting between the two teams with Indiana State holding a 9-7 lead in the all-time series. Loyola has won four of the previous seven games in Chicago

Loyola/Indiana State - The Series
Tonight is the 17th meeting between the teams with Indiana State holding a slim 9-7 edge in the all-time series. While the teams had just met once in the previous 15 years, this is their second matchup in three weeks (Jan. 1). Indiana State used a 12-1 run to break open a close game in the first game, opening up a 16-point lead before holding off a Loyola charge in a 70-58 win. The Ramblers are 4-3 (.571) in the seven previous meetings in Chicago, including an 86-74 win last time here on Nov. 13, 2010. The Sycamores' last win here was a 55-50 victory on Dec. 12, 1998

Scouting Indiana State
One of the most balanced teams in the country, Indiana State is one of the most efficient offensive teams in the Valley. Led by standout Jake Odum, the Trees have five players who average in double figures. One of ISU's all-time greats, Odum leads this year's team in scoring (12.2 ppg), rebounds (4.4 rpg) and assists (5.1 apg). He gets plenty of support in the form of Manny Arop (12.0 ppg, 43% 3FGs), Dawon Cummings (11.3 ppg), Justin Gant (10.9 ppg) and sixth-man Khristian Smith (10.4 ppg). Indiana State had won seven in a row before running into a buzzsaw in a 68-48 loss at Wichita State on Saturday

Milton Loves Home Cooking
Redshirt freshman Milton Doyle has made an immediate impact in his first season on the floor at Loyola. A transfer from the University of Kansas, Doyle poured in 18 points in Loyola's season-opening win over Milwaukee, the most by a Rambler freshman in his first game since Majak Kou (2003), and he has not slowed down since. Like most rookies, Doyle has had some ups-and-downs, particularly on the road, but he enters play today sixth in the MVC in scoring (15.1 ppg), tops among freshmen. Last week was a microcosm of his season so far, as he dazzled in a 28-point performance in a home win against Drake before being held to 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting in a road setback at Evansville

Thomas Adds To Arsenal
One of Loyola's top scoring options, Christian Thomas showed off a new part of his repertoire on Saturday, burying three from downtown at Evansville. The St. Louis native scored in double figures in Loyola's first 15 games this season and has has scored 10 or more points in 17 of its 18 outings (8 pts at Illinois State, snapped streak of 31 straight double-figure games dating back to last season). While slightly undersized as a post, Thomas has worked on his perimeter game with solid results. He was just 4-of-11 (36.4%) from the three-point line in his first two seasons but is now 9-of-19 (47.4%) from the arc this season, including the career-best three treys against Evansville. Thomas enters tonight's game eighth in the MVC in scoring (14.2 ppg), fourth in rebounding (6.7) and fourth in field goal percentage (56.9%), the only player in the Valley to rank in the top 10 in all three

Home Is Where The Wins Are
While Loyola has struggled a bit on the road, the Ramblers have been a different team in the cozy confines of Gentile Arena. Loyola is 6-2 (.750) at home this season (0-8 in true road games, 1-9 away) and has been more aggressive and more efficient on its home floor, shooting the ball at a 53% clip while getting to the free throw line an average of 21.4 times in its eight home contests

More Charity Equates To More Wins
A look inside the numbers shows the importance of getting to the free throw line for Loyola this season. The Ramblers are 7-1 (.875) this season - only loss, UC Davis - when attempting more free throws than their opponents but are winless in 10 games (0-10) when getting to the line less than their foes (20-13 Evansville advantage on Saturday). Getting to the line has been problematic for the Ramblers, especially lately. They enter play tonight 310th/345 teams in free throw attempts and are averaging just 12.9 FTA per game over their last eight games after getting to the stripe an average of 22.0 times in their first 10 contests

Super Sub
As noted earlier, sophomore Devon Turk gives Loyola an added dimension with his shooting ability and he has provided some relatively steady production off the bench. However, Turk has been forced to carry much of the bench-scoring burden, especially lately, and over the last five games, Turk has accounted for 72% of LU's total point production off the bench (70 of 97 points). He enters tonight's game third in the MVC in bench scoring (must have started 25% or less of games played)