Thu, Feb. 9, 2012 - [Men's Basketball]
Central 90, Loras 87
The head-scratching 2011-12 season continued on Wednesday night in the AWC as the Duhawks closed their home schedule with a 90-87 loss to the Central Dutch. This loss, their fourth of the season by three points or less, came at the hands of Demarco Turner of Central. Turner knocked down Central's 14th3-pointer of the night with just 0.9 seconds left to claim the win.
Things were off to a solid start for Loras after eight minutes. Jordan Harrelson knocked down his second 3-pointer of the half to make it 20-10 Loras with eight minutes gone by, and the teams cranked up the offensive output from there.
The teams combined to shoot well over 50% from the field in the first half and with Harrelson and Dan Pawelski reaching double figures in the first 20 minutes, things were feeling manageable. Even with the Dutch hitting seven first half 3-pointers, Loras carried a 45-43 first half lead into the locker room.
Loras built an early 8-point second half lead over the Dutch before the visitors began to chip away. At the midway point of the second half, Loras led by five points at 65-60. Over the next six minutes, Central knocked down three straight long distance shots to build a nine point lead on what turned out to be a 20-6 run.
The Duhawks chipped away at that lead and eventually tied the game at 85-85 with a minute to play on Nathaniel Smith's second chance layup. Smith would tie the game again at 87-87 with his second such close-range shot – this time in traffic with less than ten seconds to play.
With no timeouts and the basketball, the Dutch hustled down court and gave the ball to Demarco Turner. Turner dribbled hard at the right wing and stopped at the 3-point line where he drained what held up as the game-winning shot with 0.9 seconds to go.
The Duhawks' midcourt heave by Pawelski hit hard off the backboard and fell to the floor.
Pawelski finished with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting and three rebounds. Harrelson finished with 18 points, six rebounds, and two rim-jolting dunks in the second half. Smith finished with 12 points, as did freshman backup point guard Bobby Harmening.
The Duhawks shot nearly 60% from the field in their final home game of the season. Central shot 53% from the field and an impressive 52% from long distance (14-of-27). Turner went 4-of-5 from 3-point land and led the Dutch with 17 points. Four Central players came off the bench to reach double figures after early foul trouble for many of their starters.
Loras (5-18, 2-12) will be on the road for their final two games of 2011-12. Saturday they'll be at Wartburg before a midweek break next week. The final Saturday of the season will be at Simpson College.