MEQUON, Wis. - Kyle Stelse (Jefferson, Wis./Lakeside Lutheran) scored 15 points to lead three players in double figures as the Wisconsin Lutheran College men's basketball team defeated Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference rival Concordia Wisconsin 73-69 Wednesday night at the R. John Buuck Field House. The victory not only put an end to the Warriors' six-game losing streak, but it marked their first win over CUW since 2009.
The Warriors (5-11, 3-9 NACC) never trailed in the game as Taylor Chladek (West Allis, Wis./Nathan Hale) netted the team's first eight points for an 8-5 lead. WLC fended off four first-half ties and used an 11-2 scoring run to take its largest lead of the half, 37-25, with 2:10 remaining before halftime. The Warriors went into intermission with a 39-30 lead after shooting 53.1 percent (17-of-32) from the field. Chladek netted all of his 11 points in the opening period.
WLC opened the second half with a 5-1 spurt for its largest lead of the game at 44:31 with 15:25 left to play. The Falcons came within nine points three times over the next three minutes. The Warriors held a 51-40 lead before a 10-2 CUW run cut the deficit the just three. Wisconsin Lutheran's advantage fluctuated between two and six points for nearly the next six minutes of action. Clinging to a 63-62 lead with 3:22 to play, DJ Escamilla's (Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead) two free throws sparked a 6-0 scoring run that essentially closed the door on the Falcons.
Despite shooting a cooler 35.5 percent (11-of-31) from the field in the second half, the Warriors connected on 11 of their 15 free throw tries which sealed the victory. Stelse scored 10 of his game-high 15 in the final frame.
Jim Marose (Waukesha, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran) was the third Warrior to reach double figures with 11 points to go along with eight rebounds. Brett Lubbe (Las Vegas, Nev./Faith Lutheran) grabbed a game-best nine rebounds as WLC edged CUW on the glass, 38-34. Escamilla finished with nine points, and Lubbe and Nate Siemers (Nicollet, Minn./Minnesota Valley Lutheran) chipped in with eight each.
Keith Kahlfeldt paced four players in double digits for CUW (8-9, 6-7 NACC) with 15 points. The Falcons struggled from the charity stripe, shooting just 56 percent (14-of-25) for the game.
Wisconsin Lutheran looks to win consecutive games for the second time this season when it hosts Benedictine (7-10, 5-7 NACC) Saturday at 1 p.m. for Winterfest. Links to live audio, stats, and video will be available for the game at wlcsports.com.