Butler Falls to Lowly Loyola: Box of the Day
CHN now features a live scoreboard, stats, standings, etc.. here. Occasionally, we'll be featuring a box score of the day, with some commentary on why the box score is interesting. It might be involve a huge upset, a big personal effort, some odd statistical, occurrences, or other intriguing tidbit.
Box Score of the Day:
Today's pick is.. Loyola's 71-67 Win Over Butler.
When Butler lost to Green Bay two weeks ago, it was disappointing, but not Earth-shattering. The Phoenix are a solid team, and it was on the road. Today's home loss to lowly Loyola (Ill), who entered with an RPI of 218th, and having lost six straight, does raise some questions. The Bulldogs, who entered the week at 15th in the AP Poll, will surely drop.. but by how much? Are they in danger of falling out of the Top 20? Top 25? And with a challenging game at Davidson coming up, not to mention 3 other league games, and the HL Tournament, are they no longer a lock for the NCAA Tournament?
Statistically, Butler wasn't dominated in any category. Matt Howard set a career high with 30 points, and the team shot a respectable 44% from the floor. Hayward's 6 turnovers look bad, but the team's 12 total TO's are in line with the numbers they put up in wins. Butler's 23% shooting from three obviously didn't help the cause either.
But there were a couple major differences in today's loss, as compared to their 23 point over the Ramblers in Chicago. In that game, Butler dominated the boards, but here that advantage was nullified. The other difference was the sudden emergence of Jordan Hicks for Loyola. Hicks came into the game averaging 2.9 ppg, and he scored 0 points in 16 minutes in the first meeting. But today, he lit up the scoreboard for 23 points and 8 boards. Hicks transformation started 3 games ago against Wright State when he broke out for 14 points on 5-8 shooting. He followed that up with 4-4 shooting in mostly mop up duty against Valpo, into today's all-star performance. Besides Hicks, Loyola also got a standout performance from Justin Cerasoli. Fans around the country may be familiar with Cerasoli, as he's had stops at Seton Hall, Ole Miss, and now Loyola.