The men’s basketball team improved to 5-1 on the young season and remains undefeated on Lillis Court after their blowout victory, 71-51, over Iowa Conference foe Luther on Saturday.
Four Duhawks scored in double figures, with junior guard Josh Ruggles leading the way with 16 points, six defensive rebounds and six assists in 26 minutes.
Though they pulled out the win, the Duhawks did not start out well. Luther jumped to a 10-2 lead during the first four minutes of the game.
But then Loras started to find success with its pick-and-roll game. The Duhawks’ aggressiveness in the paint and occasional 3-point shots allowed them to turn the momentum and grab a 16-15 lead five minutes later.
Luther fought back by tying the game at 28, but the Duhawks scored the final six points of the half to take a 34-28 lead into the break.
“We’re trying new things in practice every day,” Martin said. “We might be starting a new lineup because when we go against a better team, we are (going to) be in a world of hurt.”
The Duhawks continued to extend their lead thanks to first-year guard Rowan McGowen, who opened the second half by scoring seven consecutive points to give the Duhawks a 15-point lead.
McGowen finished 5-for-7 in field-goal shooting while scoring a total of 12 points.
Defensively, senior guard Justin Busch tallied three of the team’s six steals and also coaxed Luther into an offensive charging foul.
The team also received some timely 3-pointers from junior guard Demond George, who shot 3-for-5 from the perimeter and finished with 13 points in just 14 minutes.
“Having George back in the lineup is unbelievable,” Martin said. “Just the energy he brings; he’s what we need. I mean he’s a great player, don’t get me wrong, but more so than anything the most important thing he brings is fire, and we love that about him.”
Loras has yet to lose a home game this year and now has won six of its past 10 games against Luther. The Duhawks’ sole loss this year came on the road against Concordia University.
Winners of three straight games, the Duhawks now will prepare to face Augsburg University in Minneapolis this Saturday and Carroll University in Waukesha, WI, on Sunday.