DES MOINES, Iowa: Aher Uguak scored 20 points while leading No. 22 Loyola Chicago to an 81-54 win over Missouri Valley Conference rival Drake on Saturday.
Loyola (18-3, 13-1) extended its winning streak to 11 and gained sole possession of first place in the standings. Drake (19-2, 10-2) was led by Darnell Brodie’s 12 points.
The Ramblers erased Drake’s three-point halftime lead and seized control with an 18-2 run. Uguak was the catalyst, scoring eight points in a two-minute span, including a layup that put Loyola ahead 51-38. Tate Hall followed with a 3-pointer that helped the Ramblers maintain a 56-42 advantage.
Uguak finished 8 of 10 from the field. Braden Norris added 11 points for Loyola. Cameron Krutwig contributed 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Garrett Sturtz had 10 points for Drake.
Drake was playing without its leading scorer, ShanQuan Hemphill, who was averaging 14.1 points and 6.3 rebounds before undergoing surgery for a broken foot sustained last week.
The Bulldogs jumped to an early lead Saturday, thanks in part to a pressing defense that pestered Loyola. A 3-pointer from Joseph Yesufu put Drake ahead 27-22 with six minutes left in the first half. The Ramblers responded with an 8-2 run and briefly tied the score at 30. The Bulldogs led 34-31 at the break.
Loyola replaced Drake in this week’s top 25, marking the Ramblers’ first appearance in the rankings this season and highlighting their best season since reaching the Final Four in 2018.
Loyola and Drake complete a two-game weekend series Sunday afternoon in Des Moines.
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