Tue, Dec. 31, 2013 - [Men's Basketball]
By Taylor Heinrichs & Loras College Sports Information
The Loras College Men's basketball team went down to San Antonio, Texas where they took on Trinity University and Southwestern University as part of the Trinity Classic.
Loras came up on the short end of a 61-46 decision in the opener against the Tigers. The loss dropped the Duhawks record to 4-4 this season.
Loras ultimately struggled shooting the ball from the field, converting just 26.8% through the course of the 40 minutes. The bright spot for the Duhawks was senior Alex Cline who led the way with 12 points which came on 4-of-10 shooting and a 3-of-6 effort from 3-point range. He added seven rebounds. Juniors Bobby Harmening and Luke Barry added 10 points and seven points respectively. Nathaniel Smith grabbed seven rebounds and assisted on six buckets for Loras.
Trinity University shot the ball particularly well from the free throw line converting 22-28 from the charity stripe. Robert Kitzinger led the way for Trinity with 20 points and snagged nine rebounds. Four other Tigers scored seven or more points in the winning effort against the Duhawks.
The second night of back-to-back games for the Duhawks yielded the desired result. After a jump shot put Southwestern University in front with 6 seconds left, senior Ryan Coon quickly took their excitement away as he hit a last second shot as time expired from a Bobby Harmening assist.
Loras trailed the entire first half while keeping within striking distance of the Pirates, who built their lead up to seven before it was eventually closed to a 32-30 halftime score. Within the first five minutes of the second half the Duhawks took the lead with a 12-2 run, giving themselves their largest lead of the game of eight points.
The Duhawks shot 45% from the floor while holding the Pirates to just 38% shooting. Ryan Coon was effective inside for the Duhawks scoring 13 points converting on 5-of-9 shooting and making 3-of-5 free throws. He also led Loras with seven rebounds. Juniors Nathanial Smith and Aaron Schueller each scored 11 points to help Loras to the tournament split.
Michael Cantu led the Pirates with 18 points and seven rebounds.
"It was a good trip for the Duhawks," head coach Greg Gorton said upon arrival back in Dubuque. "We played very athletic teams with completely different styles."
"Trinity University played an exclusive 2-3 zone and we just could not make shots," he said of the first contest. "Shooting has been one of our greatest strengths and after a long break, we came out and shot under 30%. We played very good defense and held them to 34% shooting."
"Southwestern played a full Princeton style offense. We had only one day to prepare and winning on Ryan Coon's basket at the buzzer was exciting for everyone. Bobby Harmening made a couple great plays late in the game and we picked up the win."
The team squeezed in some time around San Antonio, too.
"We took in many of the sights and enjoyed every bit of the 68-degree weather," Gorton added. "Any chance you get to swim with your daughter in late December, you've got to take advantage of it!"
The win moved the Duhawks above .500 with a 5-4 record. Loras will be at Greenville College January 3rd and Principia College January 4th. The next home game will be against Coe College on January 15th.