AURORA, Ill. – Scott Laskowski contributed 19 points off of Aurora's bench to help hand the Wisconsin Lutheran College men's basketball team an 84-72 defeat Saturday afternoon at Thornton Gymnasium.
Aurora (5-3, 3-1 NACC) ran out to an 11-5 advantage in the early going after Kalmon Stokes converted on a three-point play just under three minutes into the game. The Warriors (3-4, 1-3 NACC) responded with a 10-0 spurt over the next 3:03 of play, capped off by two consecutive buckets by Brett Lubbe (Las Vegas, Nev./Faith Lutheran).
After the Spartans were briefly able to regain the lead, WLC pushed its lead back to four when Jake Jarnigo (Lake Mills, Wis./Lakeside Lutheran) sank two free throws to put the score at 26-22 with 8:31 remaining in the half. AU began to take control at that point, closing the half on a 15-4 run to enter the locker room with a 37-30 lead.
The Spartans held a steady edge over the Warriors to begin the second half, pacing their way to a 62-49 advantage following a Sean Gant three with 9:13 left in the game.
At the 3:48 mark, Jarnigo made a jumper to cut WLC's deficit to single digits at 71-63. Aurora wouldn't let the Warriors get any closer however, as they closed out the game to earn the 84-72 victory.
Jarnigo tied for a game-high with 19 points, while also dishing out six assists. Kyle Stelse (Jefferson, Wis./Lakeside Lutheran) finished one point shy of a double-double with nine points and led all players with 11 boards. DJ Escamilla (Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead) provided a spark off the bench with eight first-half points and finished the game with nine.
Laskowski had 19 points and seven rebounds off the bench, joining three other Spartans who scored in double figures. Stokes added 14, while Brandon Smith and Tyler Hall chipped in with 15 points apiece.
WLC was out-shot 41-38 percent for the game. The Warriors were hurt by 18 turnovers, leading to a 24-11 edge in points off turnovers for the Spartans.
The Warriors return home next Saturday for Parents' Day as they take on Rockford (6-2, 3-2 NACC) in a 2 p.m. contest at the Recreation Complex. Live audio, stats, and video will be available on wlcsports.com.