THE GAME: A pair of teams each looking to snap short losing streaks match up tonight in Reitz Arena. The Greyhounds have dropped two straight, losing at No. 25 Davidson and Vermont. Siena finished in last place at the eight-team Old Spice Classic in Orlando, losing to No. 12 Tennessee, Wichita State and Oklahoma State to give the Saints a three-game losing skid entering tonight.
THE COACHES: Loyola head coach Jimmy Patsos enters his fifth season and has registered a 60-67 (.472) career record. The 1989 Catholic graduate is 5-4 against Siena. Siena head coach Fran McCaffery is in his fourth season with the Saints and sports a 60-39 (.606) record. In his 13th season as a college head coach, his career record is 199-165 (.547). The 1982 Pennsylvania graduate is 3-4 against the Greyhounds.
THE TEAMS: Outside of MAAC opponents, the only team that both teams will face this season is Cornell. Loyola dropped an 82-72 decision to the Big Red at Boston College while Siena recorded a 74-56 home win. This being the league opener, neither team has squared off against a conference opponent to date.
THE SERIES: Siena leads the series, 31-15, although the Greyhounds are on a four-game regular-season winning streak. The teams split four games prior to matchups when sharing a conference affiliation. They competed together in the ECAC Metro Conference (1981-1984) before Siena departed for the North Atlantic Conference and together they joined the MAAC in the 1989-1990 season.
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 1116-1149 (.493) all-time record during that time.
LAST TIME OUT: The Greyhounds battled back from a 13-point first-half deficit and held their last lead with 5:19 remaining before missing on the game-tying shot in the final seconds and suffering a 64-62 defeat at Vermont Saturday afternoon. Senior guard Marquis Sullivan scored 19 points off the bench to lead Loyola, sophomore guard Jamal Barney tallied 15 and freshman guard J'hared Hall added a career-best 11. Freshman forward Anthony Winbush hauled in a career-high 11 rebounds with three assists and four steals and junior forward Jawaan Wright blocked a personal-best five shots.
SULLIVAN REACHES 1,000: Senior guard Marquis Sullivan made his return to the Greyhounds' rotation in North Carolina and in addition to being the only Loyola player to reach double figures for scoring in each game, he recorded the 1,000th point of his career becoming the 29th player in Greyhounds history to do so. Fittingly, the school's all-time leader for three-pointers tallied the historic basket on a three-pointer with 4:33 remaining in the first half, one of four three-pointers he scored in the game while leading the team with 16 points against Davidson. The night prior against James Madison, he entered the game and made three straight three-pointers to give Loyola an 18-9 lead with 11:39 left in the first half, finishing the contest with 11 points. In his last outing, he led Loyola with 19 points, making five of his eight three-point attempts.
BARNEY FUELS WIN OVER JAMES MADISON: Sophomore guard Jamal Barney was the catalyst behind the win over the Dukes, establishing or equalling personal-bests in eight of nine categories. His 23 points came in 24 minutes as he scored on eight of nine second-half scoring possessions and assisted on the ninth, finishing the run on an alley oop for a 56-51 Loyola lead with 3:30 left. His previous scoring high was the previous Monday when he scored 18 points at Boston College, meaning he has averaged 20.5 points on the first two Mondays of the season. Loyola's next Monday outing is on the final Monday of 2008 when the Greyhounds visit North Carolina State on December 29.
WRIGHT PUTS UP THE BLOCKS: Junior forward Jawaan Wright has already collected 16 blocked shots through seven games, including five Saturday at Vermont. He leads the team in field-goal percentage (.609) and is second in rebounding (4.4 rpg). He has cracked the Top 15 in Loyola's career blocked shots list, recording 36 in two-plus seasons thus far to rank 13th.
WINBUSH RESPONDS TO STARTING NOD: Having only scored two points while playing just 34 minutes through four games, freshman forward Anthony Winbush may have been a surprise starter against James Madison, but he responded. He scored his first bucket of the game on a layup following a dump-in pass to give Loyola a 22-11 lead with 9:51 left in the first half and then closed out the scoring in that half for the Greyhounds by driving the baseline and dunking for a 30-16 advantage with 100 seconds left. His four rebounds matched his total number for the season prior to the game. The next night, he played 29 minutes, scoring five points with his first career three-pointer and grabbed a team-high six rebounds. He also added two steals. Then, he grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds at Vermont with three assists and four steals.
HALL TALLIES DOUBLE DIGITS: The Greyhounds found an additional source of offense off the bench Saturday at Vermont when freshman guard J'hared Hall scored a career-high 11 points in 12 minutes. He made three of his four three-point attempts and he knocked down the basket that brought Loyola all the way back from a 13-point first-half deficit when his three-pointer tied the game at 43 with 12:35 remaining. He has made 50.0 percent (6-12) of his three-point attempts thus far this season.
REID REBOUNDING: Sophomore forward Isaac Reid has proved to be Loyola's most consistent rebounder. His 6.6 boards-per-game average leads the team by more than two rebounds a game and he collected 12 caroms in the win over Tennessee State.