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Mar 07, 2021

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Drake, Loyola-Chicago meet in MVC finals

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Drake (25-3, 16-3) vs. Loyola of Chicago (23-4, 18-2)

Missouri Valley Conference Tourney Championship, Enterprise Center, St. Louis; Sunday, 2 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Drake and Loyola of Chicago are prepared to match up in the Championship of the MVC tournament. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece.

The teams last met on Feb. 14, when the Bulldogs created 19 Loyola of Chicago turnovers and turned the ball over just eight times en route to the 51-50 victory.

BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: Cameron Krutwig has averaged 14.8 points and 6.7 rebounds to lead the way for the Ramblers. Lucas Williamson has paired with Krutwig and is putting up 8.3 points per game. The Bulldogs have been led by Tremell Murphy, who is averaging 9.9 points and 5.2 rebounds.MIGHTY MURPHY: Murphy has connected on 37.2 percent of the 94 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 4 of 15 over the last five games. He’s also made 69.6 percent of his foul shots this season.

UNDEFEATED WHEN: Drake is a perfect 23-0 when the team makes four or more 3-pointers. The Bulldogs are 2-3 when the team hits fewer than four threes.

LONG-RANGE THREAT: Drake’s D.J. Wilkins has attempted 151 3-pointers and connected on 41.1 percent of them, and is 13 for 32 over the last five games.

TOUGH DEFENSE: Loyola of Chicago has held opposing teams to 55.2 points per game this season, the lowest figure among all Division I teams. The Ramblers have allowed just 52 points per game over their five-game winning streak.


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Bulls beat Cavs 106-96 to snap five-game skid

CHICAGO (AP) — Nikola Vucevic scored 25 points, Lauri Markkanen added 16 off the bench and the Chicago Bulls beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-96 on Saturday night to snap a five-game losing streak.

Denzel Valentine had 13 points off the bench as the Chicago reserves accounted for 45 points.

The Bulls were playing for a second straight game without All-Star Zach LaVine, who is in the NBA’s health and safety protocol and not with the team.

Colin Sexton and Darius Garland had 22 points apiece as the Cavaliers dropped their second straight and fourth in five games.

Cleveland won the first meeting between the teams this season, 103-94 on March 24.

The Bulls used a run of 12 straight points in the first quarter to turn a 17-11 deficit into a 23-17 lead. Chicago led 29-24 at the end of the first and was up 46-38 with 3 minutes left in the second. But Cleveland rallied to score 11 of the final 12 points of the first half for a 49-47 halftime lead.

Chicago regained control in the third, jumping out to a 75-59 advantage with 3 minutes left in the quarter. The lead was 80-70 entering the fourth before Cleveland scored seven straight trim the lead to three points. The Cavaliers managed to get it to three points on a few occasions and were within 96-93 with 2 1/2 minutes remaining. But the Bulls scored 10 straight to put it away.


Cavaliers: G Damyean Dotson and G/F Dylan Windler both sat out with left knee soreness. Dotson missed his fourth straight game, while Windler hasn’t played since March 29.

Bulls: G Tomas Satoransky had seven points in 15 minutes after sitting out Friday because of an illness … The return of LaVine, who is sixth in the NBA in scoring at 27.5 points per game, remains uncertain. “He’s actually doing well,” coach Billy Donovan said. “He’s disappointed he can’t be around the team. I think it’s always hard when you get alienated from the team and you’re not with the guys.”


The Cavaliers are in 13th place in the Eastern Conference and are hoping to move up in the final month of the regular season to earn a spot in the play-in tournament.

“I think it’s extremely important for our guys and we talk to them about it,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We’ve got young guys who haven’t experienced playing meaningful games at the end of the season. That’s huge for our growth. It’ll be good to see how we respond to it.”


Cavaliers: Visit the Detroit Pistons on Monday night.

Bulls: Visit the Boston Celtics on Monday night.


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