Loras knocks off league leading Central in AWC
Fri, Jan. 22, 2010 - [Men's Basketball]
The Loras College men's basketball team defeated the Central College Dutch, 86-77, on Thursday night in the Athletic and Wellness Center. The IIAC leading Dutch lost their second game of the year in the league to a Duhawks team that earned their first home win of the 2009-10 IIAC schedule in four tries. The win pushed Loras to 5-3 in the Iowa Conference, within one game of the Dutch in the standings.

The nine point victory came as a result of the all-around effort given by the entire roster. Four players, Connor Mooney, Dan Pawelski, Mike Gleason, and Tim Kelly all reached the 17 point mark. Jordan Harrelson added 11 points and nine rebounds, in what was probably his most effective night in a Duhawk uniform, considering he added a block, two steals, and three assists to his stat line. The Duhawks also recorded more steals, blocks, rebounds, and fewer turnovers than Central.

Both teams made 27 baskets, but Loras' long distance shooting (8-of-17) and 24 made free throws helped push them past the league leading Dutch, who remain tied atop the standings with Cornell at 6-2. Four teams sit at 5-3, one game behind the leaders.

Loras trailed 32-30 at the halftime break, holding Central without a point over the final two minutes of the half and trimming the 32-26 lead to a more comfortable 32-30. The Duhawks scored eight of the first ten points of the second half to take the lead 38-34 and never looked back. When Connor Mooney made his only three of the night in transition with just over 14 minutes remaining, Loras had their largest lead of the night, 17. Central battled to get the lead down to five with eight minutes left, but would get no closer. Loren Liming, the reigning IIAC Player of the Week, led all scorers with 22 points and seven rebounds.

Mooney, the first year point guard from Hawthorn Woods, Illinois matched Central's senior point guard from San Antonio, Texas Miguel Ley, every step of the way. Each finished with 17 points, five assists, and three steals, but Mooney committed just three turnovers to Ley's six. Ley was in foul trouble early but ended up playing as many minutes as Mooney did. Twelve of Mooney's points came from the free throw line, three came from his long shot in transition, and the other two came on a layup in traffic late in the first half. Ley was 5-of-12 from the floor.

Mooney will start the Loras offense on Saturday night in Mount Vernon when the Duhawks take on the other 6-2 team in the IIAC, Cornell, for the second time in a week. The Rams fell to Buena Vista in Storm Lake on Thursday. One week ago, they won in the AWC 64-63 after trailing for 19:56 of the second half on a late three pointer. Please note that tipoff is 8:00 pm on Saturday against Cornell, four hours later than the typical weekend start time. The game will be broadcast live in Dubuque on Newstalk 1490 WDBQ.