Pippa Passes, KY: Junior Will Philpot recorded a double-double and saw three of his teammates also hit double digits as the undefeated Alice Lloyd College Eagles pulled out a gritty victory over a physical Rio Grande Red Storm squad, 70-60. The battle was held Saturday, January 22nd at the Perry Campus Center.
After taking down West Virginia Tech, the NAIA’s 23rd ranked squad, in an emotional win on Thursday, the Eagles had to quickly regroup against a red-hot Rio squad that also advanced to last year’s national tournament and returned the majority of that club.
In the first 5:10 of the opening half, the Red Storm used the shooting of guard Miki Tadic to pull ahead 9- 4. Fortunately for the Kentucky boys, senior guard Noah Young and sophomore forward Damon Tobler would sink several buckets to reverse the trend. When Young sank a late driving layup, the host team would take a 34-27 advantage into the locker room at intermission.
In the second half, the visiting Red Storm would refuse to go away quietly as they sought to put the first blemish on Alice Lloyd’s schedule. Although the hometown team would bend, they refused to break.
ALC saw Philpot and sophomore guard Ben Soumahoro each drain some big shots to keep their squad in front, while Soumahoro’ s two free throws give the Eagles a 56-49 advantage as the clock went below six minutes.
Finally, Alice Lloyd guard Bryce Slone would provide the dagger. After running the shot clock down to get a great look, the junior broke open and coolly stroked a 25-foot bomb that made the score 66-58 at 1:55. The Caney Creek crew sealed the deal with a layup and 2 free throws from Young.
For ALC (19-0; 10-0 RSC), four players reached double figures as they continue to impress with their incredible balance. They were led on the night by Tobler (5-9FG), who finished with 13 points. He added 5 boards and 2 steals. Philpot registered his 9th double-double of the season as he scored 12 points (5-8FG) and snared a game-high 11 rebounds.
Young added 12 points and 4 assists while Soumahoro contributed 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Slone chipped in with 8 points and 4 boards.
Alice Lloyd connected on 50.9% (28-55) from the field, and 33.3% (4-12) from long range. From the charity line, they sank 62.5% (10-16). Additionally, ALC registered 38 rebounds, 5 steals, and 13 assists.
Rio (11-9; 5-3 RSC) who saw their 5-game win streak come to an end, were led by Tadec with 16 points.
His club connected on 39.7% (25-63) from the field and 23.5% (8-34) from long range. From the foul line, they shot 33.3% (2-6). They also had 34 rebounds, 4 steals, and 13 assists.
The Eagles return to action on Thursday, January 27th for a non-conference game against Asbury University. This is rescheduled for January 6th. They then travel to the Buckeye state to face the Ohio Christian University Trailblazers on Saturday, January 29th, at 1:00 pm.