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Men's Basketball Travels To New MVC Foe Loyola

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: January 14, 2014
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DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University men’s basketball team plays its second straight Missouri Valley Conference road game on Wednesday evening when it visits MVC newcomer Loyola. Tipoff at Gentile Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Drake’s many fans and alumni in the Chicago area can join their fellow Bulldogs in cheering on the team both at Gentile Arena and at a pre-game party nearby. For more information on the event, click here.

Drake aims to snap its current three-game losing streak that has dropped the Bulldogs to 1-3 in the MVC and 10-6 overall. Prior to the current skid, the Bulldogs rattled off four straight wins including a 94-66 win over Evansville to open up MVC play.

“We couldn’t find a way to finish either game,” said Drake head coach Ray Giacoletti of the team’s last two losses. “We’ve had good practices since and that’s all we’re talking about right now. That’s all we can control is trying to get better each day and be the best we can be. I think we got better last week, it just didn’t equate to wins last week.”

In the team’s last outing, a 76-66 loss at UNI, Jordan Daniels (Fontana, Calif.) continued his torrid scoring with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting. The junior is averaging 16.8 points per game in MVC action by shooting 51.1 percent from the field and 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from the three-point arc.

Senior Aaron Hawley (Rogers, Ark.) has been nearly as consistent by hitting double-figures in all four MVC games and a career-high 27 at Bradley. He is averaging 15.3 points per game in MVC game and shooting 50 percent (9-of-18) from three-point range.

In the team’s last visit to Chicago, senior Richard Carter (Detroit, Mich.) dropped a career-high 38 points in the season opening win at UIC. While Carter leads the team in scoring at 17.9 points per game, the point guard has been asked to expand his role well beyond scoring.

“The point guard position is extremely important and as we move along Richard is understanding that he doesn’t need to score all the time,” Giacoletti said. “His biggest job is to make his teammates better. He’s really trying to buy in to do that and mix in his opportunities to score.”

The Ramblers, in their first season the MVC, are 6-10 overall this season and 1-3 in conference play with a win over Missouri State in the first week of the MVC season. Three players average double-figure scoring for Loyola with freshman Milton Doyle’s 14.6 points leading the way along with a team high 51 assists this season.

“Loyola probably has one of the best freshmen in the league in Milton Doyle,” Giacoletti said. “He can really score the basketball and it looks like he gets better every game. They’re a team that, like a lot of others in the Valley, are getting better as the season goes along.”

Wednesday’s game is the 20th all-time between the two teams, but the first since the 1999-2000 season. Loyola leads the series by a slim 10-9 margin.

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