The Valparaiso Crusaders visit Sister Jean and the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers tonight at 8 p.m. ET in the Joseph J. Gentile Center. Both teams have been playing exceptionally well leading up to tonight’s contest.
Valparaiso sits atop the Missouri Valley Conference alone with Loyola-Chicago looming in the shadows just one win away tonight from tying it up at 4-1 apiece.
Loyola-Chicago is 10-7 and 3-1 in conference play this season, they are coming off a 67-64 win over Illinois State back on Jan. 12. The Ramblers may have the advantage tonight due to their recent home court success. They seem to really rally behind their fan base due to their 7-3 home record.
The Ramblers hold the best field goal percentage in the conference. They shoot 49.7% from the field but they do struggle from behind the arc, shooting just 34.4%.
Sophomore center Cameron Krutwig ranks first in the conference in field goal percentage. He shoots an incredible 67.1% from the field and averages 13.4 points per game. He also leads the team in rebounds with 7.4 per game.
Valparaiso is 11-6 and is undefeated in conference play going 4-0 so far this season. They have been hot lately and rattled off five wins in a row leading into tonight.
Like Loyola-Chicago, the Crusaders are also a good shooting team. They rank third in the Missouri Valley Conference shooting 47% from the field. They are also second in assists, they average 15.7 assists per game. They trail only the Drake Bulldogs, who averages 17 assists per game.
The Crusaders have five players who average double figures in points. Junior guard Ryan Fazekas leads the team in scoring with 12.7 points per game on 45.9% shooting.
Junior center Derrik Smits is second in scoring with 12.2 points per game and ranks third in the conference in field goal percentage. Smits shoots an outstanding 62% from the field and 60.7% from the free throw line.
Tonight’s Missouri Valley Conference matchup between Valparaiso and Loyola-Chicago will be featured on ESPN+. There’s a lot at stake here tonight; Valparaiso needs a win to add some breathing room at the top of the standings meanwhile Loyola-Chicago has a chance to tie it up. Tune in to see who will come out on top in this Missouri Valley Conference battle!
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Valparaiso vs. Loyola-Chicago 1/15/19 free live stream, ESPN+ viewing information
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 15
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN+ free trial