It certainly wasn’t pretty, but the Loyola Ramblers were able to hold off against the New Orleans Privateers to take the win by a score of 73-70. The Ramblers were held without a field goal for the final five and a half minutes of play but were able to clamp down on defense to hold out for the victory. Here are three observations from the win:
Dame Adelekun makes an impression in the starting five
Head coach Drew Valentine made some tweaks to the starting lineup tonight, with the main one being Dartmouth transfer Dame Adelekun making his first career start in a Rambler uniform. Adelekun quickly made it count, tallying the Ramblers’ first 6 points before finishing with 22, his highest total for Loyola so far. The grad student also collected 11 rebounds for his first Loyola double double.
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Don’t say they didn’t try…
The Privateers certainly didn’t go out without a fight, making it increasingly difficult for the Ramblers to close it out. They were led almost exclusively by the heroics of Jordan Johnson, the only New Orleans player in double digits. Johnson led all scorers with 31 points, hitting multiple clutch threes to decrease the Loyola lead ever so slightly. The guard went 6-12 from beyond the arc, while also contributing for 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Presence in the paint leads Ramblers to victory
The Ramblers struggled from beyond the arc, converting at only a 30 percent clip, forcing them to explore other alternatives to make a basket. The team relied heavily on points in the paint, with 36 of their 73 points coming from that zone. The Ramblers continue to block the ball at a high rate, with 8 blocks tonight, 5 of which came from freshman Miles Rubin, entering the program’s top-ten list for blocks in a single game.
The Ramblers now make the trek to Kansas City for the Hall of Fame Classic, taking on No. 8 ranked Creighton on Wednesday with a 3 p.m. tipoff on CBS Sports Network.