The No. 22 Loyola Ramblers (18-3, 13-1 MVC) meet up with the Drake Bulldogs (19-2, 10-2 MVC) for the second straight day as the top two teams in the Missouri Valley Conference standings go at it on Sunday. Loyola took down Drake Saturday 81-54, handing the Bulldogs their worst loss of the season.
Tipoff of Sunday’s contest is set for 3 pm ET inside The Knapp Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Loyola is a 5.5-point road favorite in game two of the conference clash against Drake.
What to Know – Loyola Ramblers
Loyola extended its winning streak to 11 games and pushed its conference lead to two games with the throttling of Drake on Saturday. The Ramblers have lost only one game in conference play, their only loss since the new year began.
Following Sunday’s contest against Drake, the Ramblers have just three more games on their regular-season slate.
In Saturday’s win over Drake, the Ramblers shot 63.8% (30-of-47) from the floor and were led in scoring by senior forward Aher Uguak with 20 points. Senior center Cameron Krutwig logged his third double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Ramblers score 74.3 points per game behind sizzling 52.6% shooting from the floor that ranks third in the country. Loyola’s defense holds opponents to 56.1 points per game and 40.2% shooting.
Krutwig leads the efficient Loyola offense, averaging 15.3 points per game, the only Rambler scoring in double figures. Loyola has seven additional players averaging 6.3 points or more per game.
Loyola’s overall record against the spread this season is 13-5-1 with a 7-2-1 mark away from Chicago. The Ramblers are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against the Bulldogs and 10-3-1 this season in MVC play.
What to Know – Drake Bulldogs
Drake will try and bounce back after the 27-point loss to Loyola on Saturday. A win against the Ramblers would give the Bulldogs a shot at the regular-season conference title. After beginning the season by winning its first 18 games, Drake has dropped two of its last three contests.
Not a lot went right for the Bulldogs, who shot 40.4% (21-of-52) from the floor but only 23.1% (3-of-13) from beyond the arc in the loss. The Bulldogs got a game-high 12 points from junior forward Darnell Brodie.
Drake averages 80.0 points per game offensively, shooting 50.0% from the floor, a top 10 percentage in the nation. The Bulldogs surrender 63.8 points per game on the defensive end, holding teams to 40.8% shooting.
The Bulldogs sport a 15-4 record ATS with an 8-2 record at home. Drake is 8-4 ATS in conference games and 4-2 in their last six games played on Sundays.
The Pick is In
Loyola is on a roll, and Saturday’s blowout victory over the Bulldogs showed the distance between the Ramblers and the rest of the league. Drake is a talented bunch but has struggled in the last few weeks. Loyola sweeps the series with another impressive win.
The Pick: Loyola Ramblers -5.5