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Loyola of Chicago Ramblers vs. Northern Illinois Huskies - 12/18/13

Northern Illinois Huskies (3-5) at Loyola of Chicago Ramblers (5-5)

College Basketball: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm (Joseph J. Gentile Center)

The Line: Loyola of Chicago Ramblers - 7 -- Over/Under: TBA See the Latest Odds

TV: None

The Loyola Ramblers will tussle with the visiting Northern Illinois Huskies at the Gentile Center in Chicago, IL on Wednesday night.

Loyola boasts a perfect 4-0 record in the friendly confines of the Gentile Center. Their leads in games may not have been terribly comfortable, but this team seems comfortable shooting the ball with accuracy at 49.5% from the field. The problem is that they’re yielding a high percentage to their opponents (nearly 47%). Freshman Milton Doyle, a Chicago native, has made his way into the starting line-up with ease and is a natural scorer at 16.5 points per game. He is helped on the offensive end by Junior Christian Thomas who is also their leading rebounder.

Loyola of Chicago Ramblers vs. Northern Illinois Huskies - 12/18/13

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

On the other side, the Northern Illinois Huskies wish they could transcend success from the football field to the basketball court. They haven’t found much to this point, especially shooting a paltry 25% on three pointers, so they must put on a strong defensive effort each night to stay in games. And they have in some instances. This is a team that goes 10 deep, so they don’t wear out easily. Darrell Bowie, Jordan Threloff, and Dontel Highsmith lead a balanced attack of multiple scorers from between 5.0 and 10.0 points per game. They also don’t shoot free throws well (63%).

Northern Illinois lost by a slim margin at Nebraska. But the fact that NIU has not won on the road and Loyola has not lost at home, I give the edge to Loyola in what could be a comfortable win for the Ramblers if they shoot like they have all season…not comfortable as in a blowout, but I don’t see it going down to the wire. The spread seems about right so this is just a lean.

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