Braden Norris scored 20 points for the Ramblers in the win.
Norris Named to All-Tournament Team After Win Against Boston College
Loyola’s men’s basketball team topped Boston College 71-68 on Thanksgiving Day after a nail-biting battle in the consolation round of the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Missouri.
Graduate guard Braden Norris led the Ramblers with 20 points and seven rebounds, earning him a spot on the All-Tournament team. Following Norris was second-year guard Jayden Dawson who scored 14 points after missing the first three weeks of the season due to a knee injury against Florida Atlantic University Nov. 8. Boston College’s graduate forward Quinten Post scored the most points for the Eagles with 25.
The Eagles started the scoring with a three-point basket from third-year guard Claudell Harris Jr. before a foul by Post sent graduate forward Dame Adelekun to the line, making both shots. Post went up for a layup after an offensive rebound to set the Eagles ahead 5-2.
A missed three from third-year guard Des Watson was rebounded by Post and passed to second-year forward Devin McGlockton, missing his three attempt. Graduate forward Patrick Mwamba repeated this action, rebounding McGlockton’s ball and missing a three-point field goal.
Post hit a jumper off a pass received from third-year guard Jaeden Zackery to increase the Eagle lead by five. Norris made his first three-pointer of the game to shrink the lead to just two. First-year center Miles Rubin scored on a layup and tied the game at seven.
McGlockton dunked the ball after a pass from second-year center Armani Mighty before Norris took the ball down and assisted graduate guard Greg Dolan on a layup to keep the game even at nine going into the official timeout.
Both teams went on scoring droughts for two minutes before Dolan sank a three-pointer to give Loyola their first lead at 12-9. Post shortened the lead after a dunk and Harris took it back with a fast break layup.
A layup by second-year guard and forward Prince Aligbe was answered by a three-pointer from second-year guard Jalen Quinn who tied it back up at 15. Another layup from Aligbe kept the Eagles ahead by two.
Graduate forward Tom Welch drove a layup to the basket and took the lead back for Loyola at 18-17. A scoreless three minutes included six missed baskets from the Eagles and only one missed for the Ramblers. The drought was ended by a Norris three-pointer, putting the Ramblers ahead by two.
Two minutes later, Post made a driving layup, tying the game at 20. Dawson broke the tie with two free throws, and Norris picked up on the momentum and sank a three to make the game 25-20.
A Rubin foul helped McGlockton to decrease the Loyola lead, then Post hit a jumper in the paint closing the lead to just two. Norris sank another three to make the game 28-23.
Dolan and Harris Jr. both missed respective three-pointers before McGlockton made a layup to shrink Loyola’s lead to one. Watson built confidence for the Ramblers, sinking a three-pointer and putting in a jumper before a timeout, putting the Ramblers ahead at 33-27.
With a minute left in the first half, Quinn hit a jumper increasing the Loyola lead to eight. A turnover by Dawson set up a three-pointer by second-year guard Chas Kelly III to send both teams into halftime 35-30 in favor of the Ramblers.
Boston College started strong in the second half with Post stealing the ball off of a Mwamba turnover and hitting a jumper for two points. Post fouled Mwamba during this play and sent him to the line, making one of two free throws.
McGlockton tied the game up at 36 on two possessions, sending in a layup and a dunk before a timeout was called.
Adelekun threw a layup and Aligbe missed a three-pointer that was rebounded by Norris who sank a three on the other end to put the Ramblers up by five. Post scored a layup to make it 41-38.
Kelley III closed the gap to one with a jumper but less than a minute later, Dawson hit a three to keep Loyola ahead by four.
Fourth-year guard Mason Madsen and Post collaborated to tie the game at 46 with a jumper and a dunk.
Dawson’s tie-breaking three-pointer was quickly responded with a three by Kelley III, keeping the contest tied with 13 minutes to play.
Both teams went scoreless for a minute and a half until Post broke the streak with a layup, taking the lead for the Eagles. Madsen added two more on the line after a Watson foul. Welch, Mwamba, Kelley III and Post all missed shot attempts before Dawson sank a three at 53-52.
Harris Jr. and Post helped maintain the Boston College lead by knocking down a jumper and a three. After a timeout with 6:49 remaining, Zackery sent in a jump shot increasing the lead to 60-55.
Quinn and Harris Jr. each hit a jumper to raise the score to 62-57. A minute later, Post made a layup to inch farther away from the Ramblers.
After an official timeout, Zackery fouled Dawson, who made both free throws cutting the deficit to five.
The Ramblers were awarded two trips to the line for Norris and Rubin, closing the gap by three. Rubin was sent back to the line and made one, leaving the score 66-63.
A three-pointer by Watson tied it at 66 going into a timeout called by Boston College with 1:40 left.
Out of the timeout, Harris Jr. missed a three and a jumper. On the other end, Norris found Rubin for a layup. Out of a Boston College timeout, Kelley III missed a three, then Loyola called their own timeout with 21 seconds remaining.
Post intentionally fouled Norris, who increased the lead to four with two made free throws. McGlockton made an effort for an Eagles comeback with a layup, but Norris added another point at the line and the Ramblers escaped with a 71-68 victory.
Head coach Drew Valentine said he was proud of the win, as the team is still trying to form the chemistry they need.
“I’m really proud of this group,” Valentine said in a statement to Loyola Athletics. “When you win a game like this and are still trying to figure things out, it generates so much confidence. So many guys stepped up down the stretch. I’m extremely proud of the way they stayed together and believed.”
The Ramblers will play next in Gentile Arena Saturday at 3 p.m. where they take on Harvard University. The game can be streamed on NBC Sports Chicago+.
Featured Image Courtesy of Bonnie Ryan | Loyola Athletics