Mon, Feb. 21, 2011 - [Men's Basketball]
The Loras College basketball team didn't disappoint the season high crowd on hand in the Athletics and Wellness Center on Senior Day with their convincing 75-51 win over Wartburg. Tyson Handsaker scored a team high 13 points in his starting role on Senior Day and Jordan Harrelson added a double-double (10 points, 13 rebounds) to lead Loras in the win.
The seniors made an immediate impact on the game, with Mike Gleason scoring the game's first basket from long distance. Handsaker did the same, knocking down two of his own to open up an early 10-6 lead for the Duhawks three minutes into the game.
Loras shot 43% in the first half, including 6-of-13 from long range to open a 36-33 halftime lead on the Knights. Three of those three-pointers came from Brian Gaughan in the first half, when he logged each of his nine total points.
The second half was all Duhawks, outscoring Wartburg 39-18 over the final 20 minutes. Wartburg netted just eight field goals and made just one of nine three point attempts. Meanwhile, Loras converted 16 shots. Connor Mooney and Jordan Harrelson each accounted for three of those, while Harrelson added an impressive 12 rebounds in ten minutes of action in the second half.
After the Knights tied the game 90 seconds into the half, the Duhawks quickly took the lead for good. Connor Mooney sparked the run, scoring all seven of his second half points as part of a 7-0 run, including a three to give the Duhawks a 45-38 lead. While Wartburg was struggling from the field in the face of one of Loras' best defensive efforts all season, Loras opened a big lead. Handsaker's three at the midway point of the second half pushed the lead to 19. The lead was its biggest when Tim Kelly's three with seven minutes left went down, making it 70-45.
The Duhawks won the battles in the paint, off the bench, on the offensive glass with second chance points, and scored 15 points off the 14 Wartburg turnovers.
With the win, the Duhawks upped their league record to 8-8. They were 5-1 in their final six games and wrapped up the regular season 11-14 overall. When the dust settled Saturday evening around the league, Loras found themselves in a four-way tie for fourth place at 8-8 with Simpson, Buena Vista, and Central. Loras' record within that four-team grouping was 1-5 during the regular season, meaning the Duhawks were left on the outside looking in at the 2011 Iowa Conference Tournament.
The regular season finale included a pre-game salute to seniors Mike Gleason, Travis Guy, and Tyson Handsaker for their efforts over the last four seasons. They combined for over 1,000 points and nearly 500 rebounds in their careers. On Saturday, they combined to go 8-of-19 from the field for 23 points, including 5-of-11 from long distance.