Thu, Feb. 6, 2014 - [Men's Basketball]
The entire Athletic and Wellness center held its breath for a moment as with time expiring, Nathaniel Smith put up a potential game winning shot. Ultimately, it fell short and Loras suffered its 3rd straight loss to Luther by a score of 75-74. In the past three losses, the Duhawks have a total point differential of minus-4.
The Norse were on the score board even before the opening tip due to a technical foul given to the Duhawks during pregame. The first five minutes consisted of visiting Luther jumping out to a 17-8 point lead. Loras came charging back retaking the lead 41-36 at the half. This was helped by some great shooting by Aaron Schueller who was 2-3 from beyond the arc tallying 10 points; as well as Mirko Grcic who finished the half shooting 6-7 from the field with 14 points.
Loras maintained the lead from half for over twelve minutes. After a pair of free throws by Luke Barry putting the Duhawk lead at 4, Luther began to make its run. They took their first lead of the second half with 6:31 remaining in the game. They increased the lead to 4 at 75-71 with four minutes remaining. A pair of free throws bought the Duhawks to within 2.
Next came a series of defense stops, Loras forced 2 turnovers and blocked a shot but were not able to tie the game up on any of their offensive possessions. Ryan Coon grabbed an offensive rebound with 47 seconds remaining and was fouled hard in his put back attempt. He was injured on the play and was forced to leave the game. Luther selected his replacement shooter, Bobby Harmening, to shoot his free throw attempts in place of him. Harmening missed the first but made the second decreasing the deficit to just 1.
The Duhawks played tough defense and forced a missed 3-pointer in which the rebound went out of bounds. Loras basketball and a timeout called. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Bobby Harmening came off of a double ball screen looking to turn the corner; he then kicked the ball out to Nathaniel Smith for the last shot which did not fall.
The Duhawks had five scorers in double digits: Aaron Schueller (18), Mirko Grcic (16), Ryan Coon (15), Nathaniel Smith (10), and Luke Barry (10).
Loras (11-9, 4-5) continues play on Saturday at 4pm at home looking to avenge its 2OT loss to Wartburg last week.