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Loras Athletics | January 27, 2019

No. 22 Loras basketball upsets top-ranked Nebraska Wesleyan

Loras men's basketball takes down No. 1 ranked Nebraska Wesleyan

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.

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.

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

• 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)

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.