Sun, Jan. 22, 2012 - [Men's Basketball]
Coe 69, Loras 67
The Loras College men's basketball team reached the halfway point of the IIAC season at the conclusion of Wednesday at 1-7 following their loss to Simpson. Saturday, the fourth game in a seven day stretch for the Duhawks and fifth straight loss, might be the toughest to swallow yet this season.
David Mataloni broke a 67-67 tie with 2.3 seconds left on his 15-foot jumper from near the right elbow to down the Duhawks for the eighth time in league play this season. The lead was the only one the Kohawks had in the last eight minutes of the game.
The host Duhawks jumped out to an early and convincing 8-0 lead on the Kohawks and were a steady 3-5 points ahead for the first four minutes of the game.
After Coe closed the gap and took couple of small lead late in the half, the teams headed into the intermission tied at 34-34. Eight different Duhawks scored in the first half - and Aaron Schueller (who started his first game as a Duhawk in Saturday's loss) and Brian Gaughan each knocked down two 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes. Loras went an efficient 6-of-13 from downtown in the first half and 12-for-27 in total.
The Duhawks again started a half quickly, opening a quick seven point 45-38 lead after the first four minutes of the second half.
The lead would change hands a total of seven times in the middle portion of the second half and kept the fans in attendance at the AWC on the edge of their seats as the teams traded punches.
Kevin Gaster warmed up for the Kohawks while Ryan Coon and Aaron Schueller stepped up to score eight points each in the second half for Loras.
After tying 34-34 in the first half, each team had posted 33 points in the second half to even things at 67-67 with just under two minutes to play. Andrew Wirth knocked down the tying free throws and three consecutive missed shots followed, giving the Kohawks a chance to take the go-ahead basket and take a final shot.
David Mataloni's jumper from near the right elbow went down with just 2.3 seconds remaining. After a timeout, Loras' inbound to midcourt and quick pass attempt turned into a harmless scramble for a bobbled basketball as the buzzer sounded without a shot at a game-tying or game-winning shot.
Kevin Walsh and Nathaniel Smith – who also started his first game as a Duhawk on Saturday – were seemingly everywhere in their minutes. In 20 minutes, Smith pulled down seven rebounds, added four assists, and one steal to his line without turning it over. Walsh converted an old-fashioned three point play, made each of his two field goal attempts, pulled down three board, adding an assist, a block, and a steal in just six minutes of action.
The Duhawks slowed down from long distance in the second half but continued to shoot at a solid percentage all night, finishing at 46%.
Loras outshot and out-rebounded the visitors on the day. Coe prevailed in one key are – turnovers. The Duhawks committed 20 leading to 17 Kohawk points as opposed to Loras' four points following 10 turnovers.
Next up the Duhawks head to Decorah, Iowa on Wednesday to take on the league leading Luther College Norse (14-3, 8-1). Tipoff is 4:00 PM.