DUBUQUE, Iowa –(NWU Athletics)- The longest winning streak in all of college basketball has come to an end as No. 1 Nebraska Wesleyan dropped their first game in nearly one year with the Prairie Wolves falling 84-76 at No. 22 Loras College on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 26) at Lillis Court in Dubuque, Iowa.
It marks the first loss for the Prairie Wolves since Jan 27, 2018 and the second consecutive season that NWU has lost at Loras College.
NWU led 40-31 at halftime, but the Duhawks were red hot from 3-point range in the second half making 11-16 from deep to rally back for the victory.
The Duhawks came out quick to start the second half scoring the first nine points to tie the game at 40-40 less than three minutes into the half. From there the two teams would trade leads six times the rest of the game.
In the final minutes, NWU had cut the lead down to three points but the Duhawks responded with a big 3-pointer in the last minute to make the lead too much to overcome.
NWU entered the game as one of three teams in all of college basketball that had an undefeated record, however all great things must come to an end. What a run it was for the Prairie Wolves as they reeled off 31 straight games, including 13 straight to end the 2017-18 season on their way to the program’s first National Championship. This year NWU opened the year with 18 straight victories with their closest loss coming by six points.
The Prairie Wolves shot 56.7 percent in the first half, but they were only 11-31 from the field in the second half for 35.5 percent. NWU made 3-14 from 3-point range which in the end was the difference in the game. Loras made 4-17 in the first half from deep, then came back to make 11-16 3-pointers in the final 20 minutes.
Josh Ruggles, who made 11 3-pointers in a game on Monday, made seven 3-pointers on Saturday to lead all scorers with 27 points. Ryan DiCanio and Demond George both had 18 points for the Duhawks who got just four points from their bench.
NWU was led by Ryan Garver who put together another solid all-around performance. Garver scored 19 points with eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals. He became the NWU all-time career record holder for steals passing Jim Moran in the 1st half.
Jack Hiller came off the bench to score 14 points making 6-6 at the free throw line and 2-3 on 3-pointers. Cooper Cook and Clay Reimers both had 12 points and Nate Schimonitz score 10.
NWU will look to bounce back and start a new streak on Wednesday when they travel to Pella, Iowa to face Central College.