Loyola Preps For Quarterfinal Date With Indiana State

March 7, 2014

(2) Indiana State (21-9) vs. (10) Loyola (10-21) - MVC Quarterfinals
Date & Time Friday, March 7, 2014 | 6:05 p.m.
Location St. Louis, Mo. | Scottrade Center
Coverage Comcast SportsNet Chicago Plus  | Live Audio | Live Stats 
Additional Information Twitter | Facebook | Loyola Game Notes | Indiana State Game Notes

Storylines
- After a stirring, buzzer-beating victory over Bradley in the late game last night, Loyola looks to keep the postseason magic alive when it takes on No. 2 seed Indiana State in the quarterfinals of the MVC Tournament
- MVC Freshman and Newcomer of the Year Milton Doyle buried a long three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Ramblers a 74-72 win over Bradley in their opening-round game last night
- Doyle scored 13 of his team-high 19 points in the second half, including Loyola's last nine points of the game
- He had plenty of help, as he was joined in double figures by Jeff White (14 points), Devon Turk (14) and Christian Thomas (12)
- Doyle had gone 1-of-his-last-15 (6.7%) from downtown over his last 6+ games prior to knocking down the winner last night
- Tonight is the 18th meeting between the two teams with Indiana State owning a 10-7 lead in the all-time series
- The Sycamores won both meetings during the regular season, pulling away in the second half in a 70-58 victory in the conference opener on New Year's Day and following that up with a hard-fought, 65-61 win in the Windy City on Jan. 22
- Loyola is looking for its first appearance in the conference semifinals since the 2006-07 campaign

Loyola/Indiana State - The Series
Tonight is the 18th meeting between the two teams with Indiana State holding a 10-7 edge in the all-time series. Indiana State swept the season series from Loyola, knocking them off twice in a three-week span in January. The Sycamores spoiled the Ramblers' MVC debut with a 70-58 win in the conference opener on New Year's Day before using a key 7-0, second-half run, five on one possession from Jake Odum, to claim a 65-61 win at Gentile Arena. Indiana State was +13 on the boards, enjoyed an 11-5 edge in second-chance points and received 37 points from its bench in that game. Tonight is the third time the schools have met on a neutral floor and they split the first two such games. Loyola grabbed a victory in Chicago Stadium in Jan., 1948 before the Sycamores returned the favor in Nov., 1990. Loyola's last win over ISU was an 86-74 win in Chicago on Nov. 13, 2010

Exclusive Company
Freshman Milton Doyle collected plenty of hardware when the Missouri Valley announced its postseason awards earlier this week. Doyle claimed both Freshman of the Year and Newcomer of the Year awards while also earning Honorable Mention All-MVC honors. Doyle is just the seventh player in MVC history to earn both rookie awards

Christian Is St. Louis' Prodigal Son
One of Loyola's top scoring options, Christian Thomas has also been the Ramblers' most consistent performer this season. The St. Louis native has scored in double figures in 25 of LU's 31 games this season and battled his way to 12 points in Loyola's opening round game against Bradley. Despite being undersized at just 6-foot-5, Thomas plays as hard as anyone on the floor. On Feb. 25 at Missouri State, he became the 31st player in Loyola history to reach 500 career rebounds and last night he passed Walt Gibler (2008-12) to move into 30th place on the school's all-time list (515). However, as touched upon later in the notes, Thomas is showing some signs of wearing down a bit. He shot 50% or better from the floor in 17 of Loyola's first 20 games but has done so just four times in its last 10 outings

Jeff Was White-Hot Against Hometown Team
Jeff White's development at the point has been a big positive for Loyola this season and he has started 30 of 31 games (did not start on Senior Day) while logging heavy minutes. He opened the 2013-14 campaign with a career-high 23 points in the win over Milwaukee and was putting together an incredibly efficient and solid sophomore campaign. Although, with Loyola's struggling with backcourt depth, his production has slipped a bit recently. White had failed to reach double figures in seven of his previous eight outings (14 pts vs. Wichita State) and averaged just 3.0 points, 2.3 assists and 3.0 turnovers per game over the last three games of the regular season before coming alive against Bradley. The Peoria native finished with 14 points against his hometown team, finishing 5-of-7 from the floor and 3-of-3 from the three-point line in the win

Finding Their Shooting Eye
Despite being the new kid on the Missouri Valley block, Loyola has been one of the league's most efficient offensive teams this season. The Ramblers finished the regular season second in the Missouri Valley Conference in field goal percentage (46.5%) but had struggled a bit, offensively, of late, shooting under 50% in six straight games - its longest such streak this season - before finding the touch and ripping the nets at a 52% clip last night against Bradley. While LU has shot 50% or better 15 times this season it has not necessarily translated to victories. Interestingly, last night was the first time in 14 games (1-13, .071) this season in which Loyola shot a lower percentage than its opponent and won (Bradley - 56%) and the Ramblers are now just 4-48 (.077) in such games under Moser

Tough As The 10
While Loyola is faced with the daunting task of having to try and win four games in four days to win Arch Madness, it can only take one game at a time. Counting last night's victory, the No. 10 seed is 8-17 (.320) all-time in the MVC Tournament. Not only are the Ramblers aiming to become the first 10-seed to advance to the semifinals, they are going up against some tough history. Five of the previous seven teams to win in the opening round lost by double digits in the quarterfinals (average margin: 12.0 ppg) and none of the seven scored more than 56 points with the quick turnaround (average total: 51.0 ppg)