Rangers Defense Powers Them to a Share of First Place in the Landmark Standings

February 1, 2019

Despite their 89-85 overtime loss at Moravian on Wednesday night, the Drew University Men’s basketball team is tied atop the conference with Moravian at 7-2 in the Landmark, although the Rangers hold the one game lead with their overall record of 15-5.


In the Ranger’s 66-64 win over Juniata this past weekend, Nate Aldrich (‘19) recorded a double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Aldrich scored his 1,000 career point in the win and then was named Landmark Conference Athlete of the Week. Aldrich is only the 20 player to score 1,000 points in program history.


The team is enjoying their best start through 20 games to a season since the 1979-80 season and are looking to capture their first NCAA tournament bid in program history.


“We’re having a strong start to the season,” Aldrich said. “I’m happy where we’re at, but at the end of the day we’re looking to be on top. Being in first is nice, but there is still room to improve.”


“Our whole mantra this year has been one game at a time,” Brian Oehme (‘19) said. “We’re looking to go 1-0 each game, and we’re not looking forward or past what has happened this year.


The Rangers are averaging 73.1 points per game as a team and are paced by Riley Collins (‘20) who is averaging 15.8 points per game, Aldrich who is averaging 13.6, Darius Reiter (‘20) who averages 10.8 ppg, and Sky Harris (‘19) with 10.1 ppg.


While the offense is outscoring opponents by a margin of 5.9 ppg, it is also the team’s defense carrying the load on the other side of the ball. Collins has 50 steals on the season and Dan Roibal (‘19) has 21 steals along with 43 defensive rebounds.


“We’ve been very aggressive on defense this season,” Roibal said. “Knowing that we have Malachi [Walker] and Nate [Aldrich] behind us gives us a lot of confidence.”


“We’ve bought into playing defense this season opposed to last season. We’re putting defense first. We changed the way we practice which is now all predicated on defense,” Collins said.


The Rangers travel to Baltimore, MD this weekend to take on Goucher College at 4 p.m. The Gophers bring in a 1-8 conference record and a 4-16 overall record into this Landmark battle.


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