Friday college basketball odds: Loyola (Md.) at Iona

Loyola of Maryland looks to keep its MAAC regular-season title hopes alive when the Greyhounds visit Iona on Friday night, with the Gaels opened as 5.5-point favorites on WagerWeb.com. Check our current lines.

Loyola (20-9, 11-5) has won three straight. It won 69-67 at Tennessee State last time out in a non-conference BracketBusters matchup. Erik Etherly scored 26 points and Loyola (Md.) came back to beat TSU. Loyola trailed by 12 with less than 8 minutes to play, but a 19-5 run put the Greyhounds in front. It’s the first time in Division I Loyola has won 20 games in back-to-back seasons. Dylan Cormier had 20 points for the Greyhounds, who have won three in a row and five of six.

Iona (15-13, 9-7) was a MAAC contender before losing six of its past seven games. The Gaels lost 65-64 at Indiana State last time out. Dawon Cummings’ layup with 4 seconds to play gave Indiana State the nonconference victory. Lamont Jones led the Gaels with 26 points. Taaj Ridley scored 16 and David Laury and Tre Bowman each had 11 rebounds for Iona. Its six losses in this seven-game stretch have been by a combined 11 points.

These two teams met Jan. 27 in Baltimore and the Gaels won 79-71. Jones led the way with 23 points and Laury scored 10 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for his third consecutive double-double. The Greyhounds made just 38.9 percent (28 of 72) of their shots, lagging behind Iona’s efficient, 48.1-percent showing (26 of 54). The Greyhounds fell behind by 15 with more than five minutes left in the game, but they cut the Iona lead to five with 1:57 on the clock, but the Gaels pulled away. Loyola had a season-high 12 steals.

Loyola is 8-2 this season when scoring 70 or more points in a game. Their only losses when scoring that many or more came at home against Iona and at Canisius. Over the last two seasons, Loyola is now 18-3 when it scores 70 or more. Its only loss of that kind in 2011-2012 was in an 83-79 defeat at Rider.

Loyola and Iona will meet for the 56th time in series history when the teams take the court on Friday. The Gaels hold a 42-13 advantage in the series.

WagerWeb.com trends: Over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings. Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Iona. Home team is 3-1-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings. Underdog is 3-0-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings.

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