2016 NCAA Div. III tournament qualifier
DUBUQUE—A 56-point Loras College second half was enough to deny the Central College men’s basketball team a shot at sole possession of first place in the Iowa Conference as the Dutch stumbled, 86-77 Thursday.
Co-leader Cornell College was also tripped up on the road, losing at Buena Vista, 75-72, helping create chaos at the midpoint of the league race. Central and Cornell are both 6-2 with Buena Vista, Loras, Wartburg and Dubuque all just a game back. The Dutch, who haven’t defeated Loras at Dubuque since 1992, are 13-4 overall.
Central led 32-30 at halftime but Loras (10-7 overall, 5-3 conference) shot 53.6 percent in the second half and placed five players in double figures.
Central shot 45.0 percent for the game while Loras shot 49.1 percent. The Duhawks held a 37-34 rebounding edge and forced 22 Central turnovers.
“We had too many turnovers,” coach Mike Boschee said. “That really hurt us, especially in transition.
“I didn’t like giving up 86 points, either. But Loras was just a better team tonight. They did a nice job of guarding and they’re playing well.”
Dutch forward Loren Liming (senior, Ames, Gilbert HS) had a game-high 22 points, seven rebounds and two blocks while guard Miguel Ley (senior, San Antonio, Texas, Judson HS) had 17 points and five assists. Center Zach Cooper (senior, Johnston) had nine rebounds.
Central heads to Indianola Saturday to face Simpson College. Simpson is 4-12 overall and 1-6 in league player after dropping an 83-79 home-court decision to Dubuque Thursday night. Central was an 84-61winner over Simpson in the team’s Dec. 2 meeting at Pella.