Warriors Clinch NACC Tournament Berth Despite Loss To Raiders

Photo Credit: Larry Radloff, d3photography.com
Photo Credit: Larry Radloff, d3photography.com

MILWAUKEE - The Wisconsin Lutheran College men's basketball team couldn't keep up with a stellar shooting night by MSOE, suffering an 84-70 setback in Wednesday night's regular-season finale at the Kern Center. Despite the loss, the Warriors clinched the eighth and final seed in the NACC Tournament by virtue of Benedictine's 86-62 victory over Rockford. WLC (10-15, 7-13 NACC) returns to the conference tournament for the first time since 2011.

MSOE (21-4, 16-4 NACC) jumped out to an early 11-5 lead just 3:02 into the game, but WLC responded with a 13-2 run over the next 4:28 to take its largest lead of the game, an 18-13 advantage with 12:30 left until halftime. The Raiders countered with what proved to be a decisive 14-0 burst to take the lead for good, and they brought a 41-34 lead into the locker room. 

The Raiders shot 60.0 percent (15-of-25) in the opening half while holding the Warriors to 43.8 percent (14-of-32). Jake Jarnigo (Lake Mills, Wis./Lakeside Lutheran) scored a game-high 13 first-half points.

The Warriors twice trimmed the deficit to four in the second half, after Jarnigo's layup with 7:12 remaining squeezed the Raiders' lead down to 65-61. MSOE reeled off the next seven points, and out-scored WLC 19-9 the remainder of the game to cap off the victory. 

Jarnigo scored a game-high 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting, adding added three assists and three steals. DJ Escamilla (Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead) tallied 16, Brett Lubbe (Las Vegas, Nev./Faith Lutheran) contributed 12 points and matched a game-high with eight rebounds, and Kyle Stelse (Jefferson, Wis./Lakeside Lutheran) poured in 11 for WLC.

Six Raiders scored in double figures, led by Connor Patterson's 18 points. Austin Stueck pitched in with 15. 

MSOE out-shot WLC 53.7 percent to 43.3 percent for the game. The Warriors shot 85.7 percent (12-of-14) from the charity stripe and held a 22-13 advantage in points off turnovers.

Eighth-seeded Wisconsin Lutheran will travel to face top-seeded Marian (19-6, 17-3 NACC) in a NACC Tournament quarterfinal matchup Saturday at 7 p.m. Live audio, stats, and video will be available for the game at wlcsports.com.