|Loyola (18-12, 8-9 MVC) at Southern Illinois (15-15, 8-9 MVC)|
|Date & Time||Saturday, February 25, 2017 | 7:00 p.m CT|
|Location||Carbondale , Ill. | SIU Arena|
|Coverage||The Valley on ESPN3 | Live Stats|
|Additional Information||Twitter | Facebook | Loyola Game Notes|
- Loyola is attempting to finish third or higher in conference play for the first time since 2006-07 as it closes out the 2016-17 regular season at Southern Illinois Saturday night.
- The Ramblers have suffered some heartbreaking defeats this season, especially on the road on Missouri Valley Conference play, where their last four losses have come by a grand total of eight points.
- With 18 wins, Loyola has surpassed its total from last year (15) and is trying for just the program’s third 20-win season since 1985 and the second in the last three years.
- The Ramblers are seeking their first .500 or better season in conference play since going 10-6 and finishing third in the Horizon League race in 2006-07.
- One of the top players in the Valley, senior guard Milton Doyle is in the mix for player of the year consideration. The Chicago native has scored in double figures in 31 straight games, the longest streak by a Rambler since Blake Schilb (32 games), December 8, 2004 through December 17, 2005.
- Loyola collected 13 wins on its primary home floor during regular-season play for the first time since 1947-48. The Ramblers went 13-3 at Gentile Arena this season.
- When the NCAA released the latest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) in November, Loyola was tied with Harvard University for first among all Division I schools with a 99 percent GSR. A year ago, Loyola ranked tied for third in the country.
Loyola - Southern Illinois - The Series
Loyola and Southern Illinois are meeting for the 10th time in a series that began in 1981. Five of the previous nine games between these teams have been decided by seven points or less and the Salukis hold a slight 5-4 edge in the all-time series. The teams have split their last four meetings. The Ramblers are 1-2 all-time against the Salukis in Carbondale and picked up a 73-59 victory last February as Montel James totaled 18 points and 11 rebounds. Since joining the Missouri Valley Conference, Loyola is 2-5 against Southern Illinois. When the teams met three weeks ago in Chicago, Donte Ingram put up 22 points and 10 rebounds, but Loyola couldn’t slow Sean O’Brien (19 points, 10 boards) as Southern Illinois shot 65 percent (13-for-20) from the field in the second half to escape Gentile Arena with a 67-61 victory.
Scouting Southern Illinois
The Salukis have lost four of their last five outings on the heels of a three-game win streak. SIU is just 4-7 in its last 11 contests, though four of its setbacks in that stretch have come by five points or less. Southern Illinois is 10-6 at SIU Arena this season, but is just 2-4 in its last six games on its home floor. Sean O’Brien ranks second in the Valley with 8.3 rpg and adds 12.3 ppg, while Mike Rodriguez leads SIU with 12.8 ppg and 4.0 apg.
Loyola will open play at the Missouri Valley Conference Championship in St. Louis on Friday, March 3. The Ramblers' opponent and start time is still to be determined.