Warriors Fall To Hot-Shooting Sabercats In Home Opener

Photo Credit: Jeff Wilson
Photo Credit: Jeff Wilson

MILWAUKEE (WLCSports.com) – The Wisconsin Lutheran College men's basketball team dropped an 81-75 decision to the visiting Maranatha Sabercats in its home opener Saturday night inside the Recreation Complex. The visitors shot a blistering 51.7 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the hosts 38-24. 

  • Final Score: Maranatha 81, Wisconsin Lutheran 75
  • Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (1-1), Maranatha (2-1)
  • Location: Recreation Complex, Milwaukee, Wis.

  • The Sabercats jumped out to a 7-3 lead just two minutes into the contest, but Caleb Goldstein (Fond du Lac, Wis.) entered the game and knocked down a triple to bring WLC within one.
  • The two teams traded baskets over the following minutes, then Goldstein buried a jumper in transition to give WLC its first lead of the contest, 15-14.
  • Randy Johnson Jr. (Germantown, Wis.) came off the bench and connected on a corner three to give the Warriors an 18-16 advantage with just under 10 minutes remaining in the first half. Colin Biesterfeld (West Bend, Wis.) then hit a mid-range jumper on the next possession to push the Wisconsin Lutheran lead to four points.
  • MBU fought back to take a 26-24 lead, but Goldstein answered with a personal 5-0 run to put the Warriors ahead 29-26 with just over five minutes to play in the first half.
  • Alex VanCrete (Green Lake, Wis.) and Mack Knueppel (Jackson, Wis.) buried back-to-back triples to extend the Warriors lead to seven with just over three minutes on the clock in the first period.
  • Maranatha cut the WLC lead to two points with under a minute left in the first half, but Goldstein knocked down his third three-pointer of the half to give WLC a 40-35 lead and the hosts headed into the halftime break ahead 40-38.
  • The two teams traded baskets in the opening stages of the second half, then Maranatha took a 48-47 lead, but Goldstein connected again from beyond the arc to give WLC a 50-48 lead with 15:34 remaining.
  • Grant Biesterfeld (West Bend, Wis.) scored four straight points off the bench, but the Sabercats went ahead 67-62 lead with just under seven minutes to play in the contest. 
  • Collin Kennedy (Holmen, Wis.) converted a mid-range jumper to bring WLC within three, but MBU answered with a bucket of its own to retake a five-point lead.
  • Kennedy knocked down four straight free throws to bring WLC within three points, then Knueppel connected on a three-pointer to tie the contest at 71-71 with 2:50 to play.
  • Maranatha took a 73-71 lead, then converted three free throws to push its lead to five points with 1:14 showing on the clock.
  • Andrew Bruggink (Brookfield, Wis.) brought WLC back within five points after a MBU basket on the other end, then Knueppel knocked down two free throws to bring the Warriors within four with 15.1 seconds left.
  • Wisconsin Lutheran was forced to foul and MBU iced the game with two free throws to take the 81-75 victory.

  • Goldstein paced the Warriors with a career-high 20 points off the bench, including 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc.
  • Kennedy added 15 points and seven rebounds while Knueppel chipped in 13 points and six boards.
  • The Warriors shot 44.1 percent (26-of-59) from the floor and converted 92.9 percent (13-of-14) of their attempts from the free throw line.

  • David Lerma led MBU with 25 points and six rebounds while Matt Gill and Stephen Wilkerson added 14 points apiece.
  • The Sabercats shot 51.7 percent (30-of-58) from the floor and connected on 88.2 percent (15-of-17) of their free throw attempts.
  • Maranatha held a 38-24 rebounding advantage in the victory.

  • The Warriors are back in action inside the Recreation Complex Tuesday night when they host Martin Luther. The Knights (0-1) fell to Saint Mary's (Minn.) 79-63 Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Live stats and video will be available at WLCSports.com.