Siena (6-17) at Loyola-Maryland (16-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, February 8, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reitz Arena (2,100) -- Baltimore, Maryland. Television: ESPN U. Home Record: Siena 3-8, Loyola 8-3. Away Record: Siena 2-8, Loyola 5-5. Neutral Record: Siena 1-1, Loyola 3-0. Conference Record: Siena 4-8, Loyola 8-4. Series Record: Siena leads, 36-19.
GAME NOTES: The Siena Saints kick off a three-game road trip on Friday night, as they drop in on the Greyhounds of Loyola-Maryland for a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference bout at Reitz Arena in Baltimore.
Siena is coming off a 64-54 loss to Fairfield on Monday night, which snapped the team's two-game win streak and dropped the squad to 4-8 in league play. The prospect of being out on the road with meetings against Saint Peter's and Fairfield over the next week doesn't sound very promising for Siena since the team is just 2-8 in true road dates this season.
As for the Greyhounds, they were pushed beyond the limit last Saturday when they outlasted Niagara in double-overtime, 89-87, on the road. The victory halted a brief two-game slide by a Loyola squad that is now 8-4 in league play.
Siena leads the all-time series by a count of 36-19, but it was Loyola that won the most recent meeting last March in Springfield, MA with a 70-60 triumph during the semifinals of the MAAC Tournament. These two teams will meet once again just eight days from now on Siena's home floor.
The Saints were competitive in the first half against Fairfield earlier this week, but after the break the team shot just 33.3 percent from the floor and allowed the Stags to pull away. O.D. Anosike, who is accustomed to recording double-doubles on a regular basis, tallied 15 points but just eight rebounds in the losing cause, adding four assists and a couple of blocked shots along the way. Trenity Burdine chipped in another 10 points for a squad that shot only 3-of-12 behind the 3-point line on the night. Still one of the more dominating players in the paint in the nation, Anosike is averaging 12.8 points and 11.6 rebounds per contest, although his point production could be so much greater if not for his mere 50.7 percent shooting at the free-throw line. One of the weaker offensive teams in the country, Siena is producing only 59.4 ppg at the moment, while giving up 67.3 ppg.
Julius Brooks played the hero for the Greyhounds last Saturday in New York as he hit the game-winning layup at the buzzer in the second overtime versus Niagara. Brooks came off the bench to provide 14 points and eight rebounds as he shot 6-of-7 from the floor, while every starter for Loyola scored in double figures as well. Robert Olson accounted for 23 points, Dylon Cormier 15, Anthony Winbush 13 points and 13 rebounds, followed by Erik Etherly and R.J. Williams with 11 points apiece. Cormier (17.3 ppg) has been a major player at the offensive end of the floor for the Greyhounds this season, not only scoring the ball but also passing it off to teammates, resulting in a team- best 56 assists. Etherly (14.5 ppg) handles action in the paint (6.4 rpg), as does Winbush (6.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg) who is becoming a complete player with his 51 dishes through 21 appearances.
Anosike will probably have his way in the paint, but if he sticks around too deep into the second half he could become a liability with his poor free-throw shooting, which leads to an advantage for the Greyhounds.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Loyola-Maryland 73, Siena 61
02/08 10:30:39 ET