THE GAME: The Greyhounds have won two straight and are looking for a third consecutive win for the first time this season. Marist has lost three of its last four and three straight road games.
THE COACHES: Loyola head coach Jimmy Patsos enters his fifth season and has registered a 65-74 (.468) career record. The 1989 Catholic graduate is 3-5 against the Red Foxes. Marist head coach Chuck Martin is in his first season with the Red Foxes and sports a 7-12 (.368) career record. The 1993 Monmouth graduate has never coaches against the Greyhounds.
THE TEAMS: Outside of conference foes, there are no teams that appear on the schedules of both of today's opponents. Both teams suffered home losses to Siena. Loyola won at Manhattan on Friday while Marist was defeated on the road by the Jaspers. The Red Foxes bested Niagara at home while the Purple Eagles left Reitz Arena with a win.
THE SERIES: Marist leads the series, 27-16. The teams have alternated home wins the last three seasons. The Greyhounds put five players in double figures in their home win last season with current Loyola guards Brett Harvey (13 points), Marquis Sullivan (13) and Brian Rudolph (12) among the quintet with Harvey and Rudolph evenly splitting 10 assists. In the rematch at Marist, Sullivan tied for game-high scoring honors with 20 points on 6-8 three-point shooting.
THE PROGRAM: Loyola is playing its 99th recorded season of basketball this season. The first season was 1908-1909 and this year the College is celebrating the 100th anniversary of that first season. The Greyhounds have posted a 1121-1156 (.492) all-time record during the time.
LAST TIME OUT: Sophomore forward Isaac Reid's three-pointer with 1:12 remaining gave Loyola a 56-49 lead and senior guard Marquis Sullivan came off the bench cold to sink a pair of clinching free throws in the Greyhounds' 58-54 MAAC win at Manhattan Friday night. Sophomore guard Jamal Barney knocked down a career-high four three-pointers en route to a game-high 21 points and all of junior guard Brett Harvey's 13 points came in the second half. Loyola shot 52.2 percent after the intermission with half of its 12 field goals being of the three-point variety.
GREYHOUNDS SHORE UP THREE-POINT DEFENSE: Opponents' ability to shoot the three-point shot early in the season was one area of concern for the Greyhounds, but they have shown drastic improvement of late. Since holding Duke to 1-of-12 shooting, Loyola has put together seven games in which opponents are making just 24.8 percent (25-101) from three-point territory. Entering the game with the Blue Devils, Greyhounds opponents were successful on 41.2 percent (73-177) of the time.
BARNEY SHOWING THE WAY WITH SCORING: After getting his legs under him and scoring just 66 points in his first six games, sophomore guard Jamal Barney has tallied in double figures in 12 of the 13 contests that followed, the only blip being an eight-point outing at Duke. In nine of those 13, he has reached 20 or more points, including a 41-point effort at Canisius and 40 points Wednesday against New Jersey Institute. Those are the only 40-point games in the MAAC this season. He has overtaken the top spot in the conference in points per game (18.3 ppg), having raised his scoring average 8.5 points since going scoreless in a November game against Cornell. He also is averaging 5.7 rebounds, lifting his average 2.2 boards per outing since that Cornell game. Since he moved into the starting lineup 15 games ago, he is averaging 20.6 points and 6.3 rebounds a game while shooting 46.2 percent from the floor (116-251) and 80.6 percent from the free-throw line (58-72).
HARVEY GIVING TEAM WHAT IT NEEDS: After not scoring a field goal in the win over New Jersey Institute, junior guard Brett Harvey was scoreless at the intermission Friday night at Manhattan. Not to worry. The team's second-leading scorer, Harvey made three three-point shots to score 13 second-half points to help Loyola get a MAAC road win. He scored 10 of Loyola's 16 points during the decisive 16-5 run which helped the Greyhounds overcome a five-point deficit. He had a string of 47 consecutive free throws snapped at Saint Peter's and was ranked eighth nationally through games of January 15 as one of 13 players above 90 percent for the season. Four times this season he has made nine or more foul shots in a game and his 13-for-13 performance against Niagara equaled the second-best performance in school history. He is averaging 14.5 points over his last six games while shooting 45.5 percent (15-33) from three-point range.
RUDOLPH LENDS HELPING HAND: Out of the starting lineup for the first time since early January of last year, sophomore guard Brian Rudolph responded with his best performance of the season against Coppin State, handing out nine assists without a turnover and adding two steals. The assist total was just one off his career high of 10. He had his two front teeth knocked out while diving for a loose ball in the game and committed just one turnover after the incident over three games, handing out five helpers with no turnovers at UC Davis and six assists with just one turnover at North Carolina State. He led the team in scoring with 13 points at Duke and then made seven free throws for his only points while handing out seven assists in the win at Canisius. He was back in double figures at Niagara and is averaging 6.5 points, 5.1 assists and 2.5 rebounds while shooting 39.6 percent (19-48) from the floor and 68.4 percent (26-38) from the foul stripe in the 10 games since he came out of the starting lineup.
REID REACHES DOUBLE DIGITS: Sophomore forward Isaac Reid was in double figures in scoring at Saint Peter's for the first time in five games with 11 points. He added eight rebounds and blocked a shot in 22 minutes played. He followed that by grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds Wednesday against New Jersey Institute. Five times this season he has reached double figures in points and four times he has grabbed 10 or more rebounds. Only once has he done both in the same game, scoring 17 points with 14 rebounds at UC Davis for his first career double-double. In the win at Manhattan, he connected on a three-pointer with 1:12 remaining to give Loyola a seven-point lead.
WINBUSH DOING THE LITTLE THINGS: Keen observers have noticed the impact that freshman forward Anthony Winbush has made when he moved into the starting lineup for a 14-game stretch. After playing just 34 minutes in the season's first four games, he hadn't played less than 22 in any of his 14 starts until Wednesday night when he played just one minute after succumbing to the flu. He came off the bench Friday and tied for team-high honors with eight rebounds and three assists. Over the last 15 games, he is averaging 4.3 points and 5.1 rebounds while recording 25 steals and 19 assists.
SULLIVAN REACHES 1,000: Senior guard Marquis Sullivan was honored prior to the December 10 game for scoring the 1,000th point of his career. The 29th player to do so, he tallied the historic basket on a three-pointer with 4:33 remaining in the first half at Davidson, one of four three-pointers he scored in the game while leading the team with 16 points. After being held scoreless in the win over Coppin State, he bounced back with a season-high 20 points in just 22 minutes at UC Davis and then scored 21 points in 20 minutes at North Carolina State. He has made four or more three-pointers four times in 12 games this season, shooting 50 percent or better from long range in each of those outings. His appearance at UC Davis made him the 37th player in Greyhounds basketball history to play in more than 100 games in a career. After not playing for two games, he came off the bench cold Friday night to drain the game-clinching free throws in the four-point win at Manhattan. With his next point, he will crack the Top 25 on Loyola's all-time scoring list.
FICKE DOING ALL OF THE LITTLE THINGS: It's been a big two months for senior forward Dan Ficke. He graduated in December after 3-1/2 years with a degree in business. Later that month, he made his first career start, at Duke on national television no less. He enrolled in graduate school this month, seeking an MBA from Loyola's nationally known program. And of late, he has been on the floor during most of Loyola's offensive runs, although one would never know it. He has yet to score a point and his only shot taken this season came during his start at Duke, but his rebounding and screening has been game-changing. He has played 14 and 12 minutes in the last two games and is averaging 2.0 rebounds in his last four games.
FARRELL RESPONDS TO STARTING ROLE: After starting the season opener, senior forward Brad Farrell spent the next 17 games coming off the bench, seeing no more than 19 minutes in any outing until Wednesday's 26-minute stint against New Jersey Institute. His two points, two rebounds and effort earned him the start Friday night and he responded. Playing a season-high 28 minutes, he made three field goals for a season-best six points and added three rebounds, one assist and a steal. He scored Loyola's first basket after freshman forward Anthony Winbush found him under the basket following a Winbush steal. He scored the last basket of the first half on a dunk after slipping to the basket and receiving the assist from junior guard Brett Harvey. His final field goal was a turnaround jumper in the lane with the shot clock winding down to give Loyola a 53-48 lead with 2:40 remaining. On Loyola's next possession, he rebounded a Greyhounds miss to give them a new shot clock, setting up a huge three-pointer from sophomore forward Isaac Reid to give Loyola a 56-49 lead with 1:12 remaining.
SPREADING THE SCORING: Although sophomore guard Jamal Barney has taken much of the scoring load of late, through 19 games six different players have posted team-high scoring honors thus far. Barney has led the team 11 times, senior guard Marquis Sullivan and junior guard Brett Harvey three times, and sophomores Tony Lewis, Brian Rudolph and Isaac Reid (shared) have each done so once. Last season, only four Greyhounds posted a team high through 33 games - Gerald Brown (19 times), Sullivan (seven), Michael Tuck (five) and Harvey (twice).
NEXT TIME OUT: The penultimate two-game home stretch of the season concludes Thursday when the Greyhounds host Saint Peter's at 7 o'clock. The game will be carried live on MASN. Loyola and the Red Foxes meet again in seven days when Marist hosts the rematch in the McCann Center at 4 o'clock.