What to watch as Bradley faces Valley basketball power Loyola Chicago

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  • Brian Wardle
    American basketball player-coach

PEORIA — On to the gauntlet for Bradley.

The Braves (7-8, 1-2) men's basketball team, fresh off a buzzer-beater 3 that took a game away from them against Missouri State, move on Saturday to Loyola (10-2, 1-0).

The Ramblers have won 28 straight at Gentile Arena, the fifth-longest active home win streak in the nation. Some opponents might see that as a predicament. Bradley sees it as an opportunity.

"I see it as a chance to go there and let them know what Bradley basketball is, and that we can play with anybody," Bradley swingman Jayson Kent said. "We're ready for the challenge."

'Let it hurt': Takeaways from Bradley basketball's heartbreaking buzzer-beating loss

The Braves were heartbroken after Missouri State beat them as time expired with a 3 by Isiaih Mosley on Wednesday. But they know they need to move on quickly as Loyola turns up next, then Evansville at home before road trips to Illinois State and Drake.

"We got to respond and be ready to play another physical, tough team on Saturday," Bradley coach Brian Wardle said. "We don't even think about Loyola's home win streak. We have other problems we need to think about.

"We know we go into that arena, it's small, it's loud, got to be really together, listening, talking. Be able to bring it.

"They are old. Probably older than the (NBA's Chicago) Bulls starting lineup. They were last year, might still be this year."

MSU to MVC: Murray State to join Bradley in Missouri Valley Conference next season

Streaking at home

The top active home win streaks in the country for NCAA Division I men's basketball teams.

59 — Gonzaga
43 — Liberty
35 — Prairie View
33 — Houston
28 — Loyola
21 — Abilene Christian
21 — Baylor

How to watch, listen, stream and what to know about Bradley at Loyola

When: 3 p.m. Saturday

Where: Gentile Arena, Chicago

Television: Bally Sports Midwest and NBC Sports Chicago

Online stream: Bally Sports.

Listen: WMBD 1470-AM, 100.3-FM

Records: Bradley 7-8 (1-2). Loyola 10-2 (1-0)

KenPom ranking: Bradley No. 143. Loyola No. 21.

NET ranking: Bradley No. 139. Loyola No. 18.

Head coaches: Bradley, Brian Wardle. Loyola, Drew Valentine.

All-time series: Bradley, 36-31. BU lost 69-56 and 65-58 in 2020-21.

Bradley: FG 44.0%. 3-point FG 34.5%. Top players: Terry Roberts 15.9 ppg, 4.2 apg; Ja'Shon Henry 11.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg; Malevy Leons 11.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, team-best 20 blocks; Rienk Mast 7.8 rpg.

Loyola: FG 50.8%. 3-point FG 41.8%. Senior forward Ryan Schwieger leads the team with 12.5 ppg. Guard Lucas Williamson adds 11.4 ppg and a team-best 5.6 rebounds. Guard Braden Norris has 48 assists in 11 games and shoots 3s at a 48.1% clip.

Bravely Speaking

Bradley senior forward Ja'Shon Henry is day-to-day with a head injury. He's missed the last four games. ... Loyola has won 21 straight Missouri Valley Conference home games since 2019. ... The Ramblers have 11 players who are juniors, seniors or graduate students. ... Loyola was idle for 26 days before traveling to Utah on Thursday to beat San Francisco, 79-74. ... Bradley's three conference games so far this season have been decided by a combined nine points. All of them have been margins of five points or less. ... The team that leads at halftime has a 13-2 record in Bradley's games this season. ... Bradley has not won at Gentile Arena since 2016.

Dave Eminian is the Journal Star sports columnist, and covers Bradley men's basketball, the Rivermen and Chiefs. He writes the Cleve In The Eve sports column for pjstar.com. Reach him at 686-3206 or deminian@pjstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.

This article originally appeared on Journal Star: Bradley basketball vs. Loyola Chicago basketball what to watch

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