Mon, Feb. 13, 2012 - [Men's Basketball]
Loras 69, Wartburg 67
The Duhawks arrived in Waverly, Iowa on Saturday with two games left in their 2011-12 season and a chance to take down an Iowa Conference foe above them in the standings. By shooting nearly 60% from the field in the second half and crashing the offensive glass in the final seconds of the game, Loras was able return to the win column and hand the Knights a crushing blow in their own pursuit of an IIAC Tournament slot.
Four players finished in double figures for the Duhawks, led by game-winning shot maker Aaron Schueller's 12 points. Tim Kelly and Brian Gaughan each finished with 11 points and Dan Pawelski had 10. Nathaniel Smith did a little bit of everything with seven points, a team high five rebounds, and five assists.
The host Knights had their lead up to double digits in each half, but Loras battled to keep things close throughout the game. Three point plays from Tim Kelly (‘old-fashion') and Jordan Harrelson (long distance) in the closing moments of the first half helped a 30-19 deficit with less than five minutes to go in the first half move down to a 34-29 halftime deficit.
Brian Gaughan knocked down the first field goal of the second half from 3-point range and the Wartburg team answered with a quick 8-2 run. A Taylor Baxter jumper with 12 minutes to play tied things up at 45-45 before another solid stretch by the hosts where they opened another double-digit lead.
The Duhawks began to chip away again, with Schueller knocking down a pair of shots to start the final five minutes of the game. Schueller's jumper with 3:38 to play gave the Duhawks their largest lead of the game - three points.
After a pair if Wartburg free throws which tied the game at 65-65, Nathaniel Smith capped his seven point night with a jumper to make it 67-65. Brandon Flenor scored his only basket of the second half on the other end to tie the game for the third time in the second half with just 39 seconds to go.
Loras next trip on the offensive end would be the decisive one of the night. Smith pulled the trigger on a 3-point attempt with the shot clock winding down, and the long rebound was snagged by a crashing Aaron Schueller. Schueller took a quick 17-foot shot from near the left elbow and swished home the game winner with 1.6 seconds to play. Mitchell Murphy's last second 3-pointer didn't go down and the Duhawks completed the win with the freshman Schueller's jumper.
Schueller and Smith each scored all of their points in the second half, combining to go 8-for-14 from the field, including three 3-pointers. Loras scored all seven of their second chance points in the second half, including Schueller's game-winner. The Duhawks outscored Wartburg 40-33 in the final 20 minutes.
The win moved Loras to 6-18, 3-12 in the IIAC ahead of next Saturday's season finale at Simpson College (currently 11-11, 8-6).
WATCH THE VIDEO OF SCHUELLER'S GAME-WINNER HERE.