Ramblers Keep on Winning, Defeating Rhode Island 77-67

Philip Alston recorded a double-double finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Dame Adelekun provided a spark with 21 points and five blocks.

Loyola men’s basketball kept up their winning ways with a 77-67 victory on the road against the University of Rhode Island Feb. 18. 

Fourth-year forward Philip Alston recorded a double-double finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds while graduate forward Dame Adelekun provided a spark with 21 points and five blocks. Redshirt second-year guard Brandon Weston led the effort for the Rams with 15 points and six rebounds. 

The Ramblers made the trip to Kingston after improving to 18-7 and 11-2 in Atlantic 10 play with a 64-59 win over Saint Joseph’s University Feb. 14. Rhode Island entered play 11-13 and 5-6 in conference. 

First-year Ram forward David Fuchs got the game going after getting his hands on a Loyola pass. He took it the length of the floor for a breakaway dunk before he banked in a driving layup to put Rhode Island up 4-0. 

Alston got the Ramblers on the board with a layup of his own while on the other end, third-year guard Zek Montgomery made a layup. Adelekun scored twice in the post to tie it at 6-6. 

First-year Ram guard Cam Estevez and graduate forward Patrick Mwamba traded 3-pointers before third-year forward David Green spurred a 7-0 Rhode Island run as they assumed a 16-9 lead. 

Adelekun scored twice underneath the hoop while Alston added on with a driving layup to bring the Ramblers back within one at 16-15. Fourth-year guard Sheldon Edwards connected on a 3-pointer while Alston made another layup, making it 21-18 in favor of Loyola. 

Fuchs kept hammering away with a reverse layup and a hard slam dunk as the Rams kept it close, down just 23-22. Graduate guard Braden Norris provided a spark when he hit graduate forward Tom Welch on a lob for a hard alley-oop finish to give the Ramblers a 25-22 lead. 

Adelekun stayed hot, getting two more buckets while third-year Ram guard Jaden House drained a 3-pointer to make it 29-25. Adelekun answered two Rhode Island layups with another successful post up, maintaining a tight 31-29 Rambler lead. 

Second-year guard Jalen Quinn found a lane to the hoop for a driving layup and Norris found Welch cutting for a two-hand jam which sent Loyola into the halftime break with a 35-29 advantage.

Green got the Rams going in the second half with a hard slam dunk, but Edwards quieted the Rhode Island momentum with back-to-back 3-pointers, making it 41-33. Alston made two free throws and finished a driving layup to extend the lead to 45-36. 

Adelekun kept the Loyola run going after getting underneath the hoop for another bucket and added on two at the line. House stopped the bleeding with a driving layup to cut into the deficit at 49-39. 

Alston drove past a defender and went up strong for a raucous slam dunk, hanging onto the rim and coming back down with a 51-42 Rambler lead in hand. Weston and Montgomery found success inside and cut into the lead bringing the Rams within four at 51-47. 

Third-year guard Des Watson hit a mid-range jumper and Alston got to the rim again, cutting the Rhode Island run short and making it 55-47. 

Watson finished a reverse at the rim and Norris hit Welch cutting for an easy layup as the Ramblers led 59-50. Weston and Alston traded successful trips to the charity stripe then Fuchs threw down a dunk to bring the Rams back within 10 at 64-54. 

Alston and House both added two at the line before Norris hit a 3-point dagger putting his squad up 72-59 with just under three minutes to play. Adelekun rejected Green going up in the paint and House got a 3-pointer to fall making it 72-62. 

Watson punctuated the win when Adelekun hit him cutting for a slam and got a 3-pointer to fall as the Ramblers closed out Rhode Island 77-67. 

Loyola was a dominant force off the glass, finishing with 43 rebounds to the Rams’ 28. The Ramblers also had the advantage in assists with 15 to Rhode Island’s 13 while the Rams won out in the turnover game, only surrendering the ball eight times while Loyola lost it on 12 occasions. 

With the win, the Ramblers moved back into a tie for first place in the A-10 with the No. 16 University of Dayton Flyers. 

Loyola head coach Drew Valentine credited his team’s resiliency after the game as a key contributor to their now six-game winning streak. 

“I think we picked up our offensive pace and execution regardless of makes and misses,” Valentine said. “Our two bigs dominated the game inside. We talk about bringing our hardhat when we have to play with that urgency and toughness. We won this game with toughness and our execution.”

Next up, the Ramblers return home to Gentile Arena Saturday, Feb. 24 when they will take on the Patriots of George Mason University. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and fans can catch the game on the USA Network or catch the radio broadcast on the Rambler Sports Network.

Featured image courtesy of Loyola Athletics

Griffin Krueger

Griffin Krueger