DUBUQUE, Iowa — After 20 minutes on Saturday, the No. 22 Loras men's basketball team found itself trailing by nine to No. 1 Nebraska Wesleyan. The Prairie Wolves looked as if consecutive win No. 32 was in the future, but a Herculean effort led by Josh Ruggles' 19 second half points carried the Duhawks to victory, 84-76.
Nov. 21st • #2 Augustana: ⬇️— Loras Managers (@LorasManagers) January 26, 2019
Jan. 26th • #1 Nebraska Wesleyan: ⬇️
That’s the TOP 2 RANKED teams in the nation, and they’ve BOTH been downed by your #22 @DuhawkMBB!
Here’s the locker room reaction, you’re gonna want to watch til the end 😎 #DuhawksRising 🦅⛓ pic.twitter.com/WtCApBeSTu
The Duhawks and the Prairie Wolves opened up the contest with a back-and-fourth battle as Loras managed to keep within five. With just over seven minutes to go in the first half, Nebraska Wesleyan went on a quick run to jump out to their largest lead of the night at 12. After 20 minutes, Loras went to the break trailing by nine.
DOWN GOES #1!!! Duhawks hand NWU its first loss of the season and snap 31-game winning streak! // #GoDuhawks #d3hoops #rollriversMBB pic.twitter.com/XYQFczDWcE— Loras M Basketball (@DuhawkMBB) January 26, 2019
Loras opened up the second half on a 12-3 run and tied the game after Ruggles hit a pair of free-throws following the technical that was issued to the Prairie Wolves bench at the 17:30 mar. After making four of their 17 3-point attempts in the first half, the Duhawks opened up the second half on a tear thanks in part to Demond George and Ruggles' deep shooting.
DIII men's basketball: Scores
With 7:45 remaining in the half, the Duhawks lost a key piece of their rotation with George committing his fifth foul. Just past the five minute mark, though, Ryan DiCanio knocked down a 3-pointer off the Rowan McGowen assist to give the Duhawks back the lead — the final lead they would need. With 1:05 remaining, JT Ford stepped into the mix and blocked a layup that would've cut Loras' lead to one
Highlights from today's game against Nebraska Wesleyan! // #GoDuhawks #d3hoops #rollriversMBB pic.twitter.com/kemn3EIUOv— Loras M Basketball (@DuhawkMBB) January 27, 2019
• With Ryan DiCanio's 18 points, he becomes the third men's basketball player in program history to join the 1,500 Point/500 Rebound Club. DiCanio joins Loras Hall of Famers Kurt Denner and Tommy Jackson as the only Duhawks to achieve this feat. His final 3-pointer set a new season-high for the senior
• In the second half, the Duhawks shot 10-of-13 (76.9 percent) from 3-point range
• Loras snapped Nebraska Wesleyan's 31-game win streak dating back to January of last season
• Ruggles needs eight 3-pointers to move past Jeff Ludovissy's career mark of 180
• George brought his career point total to 948 with five regular season games remaining
• The Prairie Wolves became the fourth top-five team since 2012 to fall inside the Athletic & Wellness Center (Illinois Wesleyan-2013, Wheaton-2013, Augustana-2018)
With Nebraska Wesleyan losing (to Loras), Augustana will most likely move into the #1 spot. Loras has now defeated both teams...impressive. #d3hoops https://t.co/261YJIWcT8— Bob Quillman (@IWUhoopscom) January 26, 2019
Loras hosts Dubuque on Wednesday, looking for revenge after the Spartans handed the Duhawks their first loss of the season back in December. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. from Lillis Court.
What a great night with a great group of winners!!! pic.twitter.com/5GOKM7oOLx— Chris Martin (@cmart2323) January 27, 2019