Thu, Feb. 14, 2013 - [Men's Basketball]
With the final 2013 Iowa Conference Tournament spot up for grabs in the final week, the Loras College men's basketball team's bid to claim that spot fell short in Pella, Iowa on Wednesday.
The Duhawks were off to a fast start, forcing two timeouts by the hosts and opening a 22-11 lead in the game's first eight minutes. Loras was 12-of-16 from the floor over the first 11 minutes, building the lead to 28-17. Loras would finish 35 first half points. They'd take a seven point lead into the locker room after going 14-for-22 in the first half.
The second half opened with a three-pointer from Bobby Harmening to extend the lead to double digits - where it would return with 10:42 to go after Loras held off an initial surge by the Dutch. A quick 7-0 run by Central had them back within three points with just over seven minutes to play.
During that run, the Dutch's Nick Marinkovich started to turn the tide for the hosts. He scored 17 second half points on his way to a game high 24, including 13 of those in an eight minutes stretch during the second half.
Loras' final lead was 62-61 and Bobby Harmening's three-pointer had the game tied back up at 65-65 with 90 seconds to play. Branden Stubbs would add four points for Central down the stretch, including a pair of free throws with 23 seconds to play. Bobby Harmening would add two free throws after the Dutch avoided a game-tying basket with a foul to get within one point. Then Marinkovich was at the free throw line to return the lead to three points for the Dutch with ten seconds left. Loras' final attempt to tie the game came from Bobby Harmening's long distance effort – but was a bit off the mark. Loras was on the offensive glass and kicked it out for another heave, but it was off the mark and appeared to be after the buzzer.
The loss was Loras' seventh in league play by five points or less.
The loss put the Duhawks in a tie with the Dutch for the final spot in the IIAC at 3-10 with one game to play on Saturday – at the University of Dubuque (18-6, 8-5). Central will host Simpson.