Tue, Feb. 24, 2009 - [Men's Basketball]
Jon Denham, Sports Information Director
February 24, 2009
The Loras College men's basketball team is into the IIAC semifinals after a 73-65 win over the Central College Dutch in the Athletic and Wellness Center on Tuesday night. Loras converted 25-of-46 shots (54%) en route to the win, including 7-of-14 three pointers. It was the best shooting night for Loras since the season opening win over St. Norberts (57%), 69-63, and first over 50% since January 14 versus Cornell, their semifinals opponent.
Loras took a three point lead into halftime when one of those seven long distance shots fell for Ricky Kolze-who beat the buzzer in his second straight half-to put Loras up 28-25 at intermission. Brian Centella (left) was 5-of-9 in the first half for a game high 11 points.
At points, Centella and IIAC leading scorer Miguel Ley of Central seemed to trade baskets as they tried to control the game for their teams from the point guard position. Ley ended the game, and his junior season, with 25 points. Centella finished with a team high 21 for the Duhawks.
During the 40-minute battle for a bid in the league semifinals, the teams exchanged the lead an impressive 18 times, the vast majority of which came in the second half. Loras grabbed the lead for good when Alex Brant made good on both of his free throws at the 3:34 mark. The lead built from there, and the Duhawks held on for the eight point victory.
The win puts the Duhawks into the semifinals on Thursday against the Cornell College Rams. Tipoff in Mt. Vernon will be 7:00 PM. Loras won by nine in the home game and lost by 16 in the road contest with the Rams. The winner will play either #1 seed Buena Vista or #4 seed Wartburg on Saturday for the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships.