Ramblers pounce on Clemson: 3 Observations originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Loyola Ramblers had arguably their best game of the year so far in a statement win over Clemson at the Holiday Hoopsgiving in Atlanta. The Ramblers took the lead early and never looked back, defeating the Tigers by a score of 76-58. The win now moves the Ramblers to an even 5-5 on the year. Here are three observations from the win:
Continued success over Power 6 opponents
The Ramblers continue to show that when they match up against the nation’s top conferences, they can fight at any time. Despite Clemson being the favorite entering tonight, Loyola stormed to an early lead, taking an 11-point lead at halftime. The team kept their foot on the gas to extend the lead to 20 towards the end. This win gives the Ramblers their eleventh win over Power 6 opponents in the last five seasons in a stretch that includes the likes of Florida, Illinois, Vanderbilt (twice), and now Clemson.
Three-point shooting roles reversed
Entering tonight’s game, Clemson boasted a 42 percent clip from beyond the arc, a mark that ranks sixth in all of Division I. In contrast, Loyola had been mired in early season struggles and was ranked 280th in the nation from three. Yet, the two teams essentially swapped identities, with the Ramblers shooting with a red-hot 50 percent clip from three and taking advantage of the Tigers’ struggles from beyond the arc, holding them to an abysmal 14 percent mark.
Leading the Ramblers from three was Braden Norris, who knocked down a game-leading 5 treys en route to 19 points.
Alston puts forward his career game
DII transfer Philip Alston continues to impress this season, having his best career game yet for the Ramblers. Alston kept up his trend of making his presence known in the paint but surprised Clemson with his range. The forward went 4-6 from beyond the arc, his most threes attempted and made in his career. His play was enough to put up 23 points, a career-high mark. Alston also contributed with 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
The Ramblers return home in a week to take on Albany on Sunday, with a 1 pm tipoff on NBC Sports Chicago.