CHICAGO – Kyle Stelse (Jefferson, Wis./Lakeside Lutheran) scored a career-high 23 points to lead four players in double-figures as the Wisconsin Lutheran College men's basketball team collected an 89-83 non-conference road win over North Park Tuesday.
Wisconsin Lutheran held a first-half lead for all but the opening 2:41. With the score tied at 6-6, the Warriors used an 8-0 run on their way to building their largest lead of the game, 27-14, with 9:50 left before halftime. WLC maintained its lead through the remainder of the period and went into the locker room ahead 43-37. Stelse scored 10 points in the half as the Warriors shot 15-for-28 (53.6 percent) from the floor. Meanwhile, the Vikings shot 40.6 percent (13-for-32) in the half.
The Warriors built their lead back up to 11 points early in the second half before the Vikings mounted a comeback. NPU grabbed a 59-56 lead with 13:55 left after putting together a 21-7 run. Both teams then proceeded to exchange leads four times over the next 11:12. Wisconsin Lutheran grabbed the lead for good, 78-77, on a lay-up from Nate Siemers (Nicollet, Minn./Minnesota Valley Lutheran) with 2:43 to play. Wisconsin Lutheran made seven of its final eight free-throw attempts to seal the victory.
Stelse scored a team- and career-high 23 points to lead the Warriors. Jake Jarnigo (Lake Mills, Wis./Lakeside Lutheran) and Taylor Chladek (West Allis, Wis./Nathan Hale) chipped in 14 and 12 points, respectively. Siemers was the fourth player to reach double-figures as he added 11 off the bench. Brett Lubbe (Las Vegas, Nev./Faith Lutheran) corralled a game-high 11 rebounds. WLC overcame a 37-14 deficit in points off turnovers and doubled-up the Vikings on the glass, 48-24. The Warriors out-shot the Vikings 53.7 percent (29-for-54) to 45.6 percent (31-for-68).
North Park (0-2) was led by Juwan Henry's 31 points off the bench. Aaron Weaver added 25 as the tandem combined to shoot 21-for-35 from the floor. They were the only two players to score in double-figures for the host team.
The Warriors (1-1) return to Milwaukee for their home opener against Beloit (1-0) Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Recreation Complex. Live audio, stats, and video will be available for the game at wlcsports.com.