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Ramblers Suffer Third Straight Loss Against Patriots

The Loyola Ramblers (11-11, 5-6 A10) had a difficult afternoon against the George Mason Patriots (18-3, 9-1 A10), losing 61-52 in Gentile Arena on Saturday. 


Like their game against Saint Joseph’s, The Ramblers found themselves down early again. They only scored two points through the first four and half minutes. 


Things went from bad to worse over the next 15 minutes. Loyola mustered five points together in the second quarter and turned the ball over a whopping 17 times in the first half. 


Despite this, they were able to hold the number one scoring offense in the Atlantic 10 to 28 points in the first half. Head coach Allison Guth said she was proud of her team’s defense, but lamented the inability for them to execute the finer details. 


“To hold a high-octane offense [averaging] 76 points, you just come away from it incredibly frustrated as a coach,” Guth said. 


The second-year bench boss added she was “fired up” in the locker room at halftime and told her team “we need to be better than this” after scoring just 13 points through the first 20. 


Whatever the specifics of her message were, they must have done the trick. The second half was a completely different story for the Ramblers. 


They tallied 18 points in the third quarter, including the first eight of the period. There were multiple stretches where they came within seven points – and even got the margin to two possessions with 8:44 left in the fourth quarter.

It became a defensive battle down the stretch. Neither team would see a field goal hit the bottom of the net for over three minutes. 


The Ramblers had another chance to cut the lead to six points when graduate guard Thoranna Kika Hodge-Carr had a trip to the free-throw line with 5:59 left in the game. 


The Iona transfer missed both of her attempts and fifth-year guard Sonia Smith converted a four-point play in the opposite end to put the Patriots back up by double digits. 


Smith led all scorers with 21 points, while Alyssa Fisher, Sam Galanopoulos, Sitori Tanin and Hodge-Carr tallied double figures for the Ramblers. 


Going forward, Guth said her team’s point of emphasis will be continuing to improve on the offensive side of the ball. 


“This team has the capability to do it,” Guth said. “You come away with 2-16 [from three], shooting 62% from the free throw line, those aren’t things that you do.” 


Today’s win marked the 8th straight for GMU, and, for the first time since 2017, they officially secured a winning record in conference play. There’s still a hill to climb, as they remain a “First Four Out” bubble team in Charlie Creme’s most updated bracketology for ESPN. 


Contrarily, The Ramblers dropped their third straight game but have a chance to break their slump against La Salle (7-13, 4-5 A10) on Thursday night. 


Tip-off will be 5:30 p.m. CST and broadcast on ESPN+.