Niagara vs Loyola-Chicago Preview and Prediction
Niagara vs Loyola-Chicago Preview
Niagara and Loyola-Chicago will meet as a part of the Fort Myers Tip-Off Classic on Wednesday night. Niagara will face Wyoming on Friday before hosting a four-team regional as part of the tournament featuring Grambling, IUPUI, and St. Francis (NY).
Boston College, Richmond and Wyoming will join Loyola Chicago in the inaugural Fort Myers Tip-Off at Suncoast Credit Union Arena at Florida SouthWestern State College.
Niagara defeated St. Bonaventure, 80-72, in the season opener for the second straight season. The Purple Eagles have won consecutive season openers for the first time since the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.
The Ramblers had their 16-game non-conference home win streak snapped as they lost on a last-second dunk to Furman 60-58 in their last outing.
Clayton Custer scored a game-high 19 points and Lucas Williamson notched his first career double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds), but Loyola connected on only 37 percent of its field goal attempts and was an uncharacteristic 3-for-20 from beyond the arc.
Wednesday’s match-up is just the second meeting between Loyola and Niagara and the first since February 24, 1937, when the Ramblers pulled out a 48-42 victory. This is the Purple Eagles’ first trip to Rogers Park.
Niagara’s double-double machine
Senior forward Marvin Prochet collected his tenth double-double in his career in Niagara’s victory over the Bonnies–but that number should continue to grow this season.
He will be relied on as Niagara’s go-to man with last year’s leaders Mike Scott and Kahlil Dukes graduated from the program.
6’8 senior Dominic Robb established a new career-high in blocks with eight, including seven in the first half, which are the second most blocks in a game in program history. Robb has three of the top-8 most blocks in a game in Niagara history.
LINE: -16 Loyola-Chicago
The line in this matchup surprised me–I know Loyola is returning a lot of their guys from the team that reached the Final Four a year ago, but they looked beyond rusty against Furman and this Niagara squad can present its own challenges.
I do expect the Ramblers to win the game, but will it be by nearly 20 points? I correctly predicted Niagara’s upset of St. Bonaventure and if I’m betting this game, I would take Niagara plus the points–no money line action on this game.
Loyola-Chicago 79 Niagara 66
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