Warriors Pull Away From Rams For Season-Opening Win

Warriors Pull Away From Rams For Season-Opening Win

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WLCSports.com) – Senior Andrew Bruggink (Brookfield, Wis.) scored a game-high 23 points to lead five players in double figures, as the Wisconsin Lutheran College men's basketball team opened its 2019-2020 season Friday night with a 96-82 non-conference win over North Central (Minn.) inside the Clark-Danielson Gymnasium.

  • Final Score: Wisconsin Lutheran 96, North Central (Minn.) 82
  • Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (1-0), North Central (Minn.) (0-1)
  • Location: Clark-Danielson Gymnasium, Minneapolis, Minn.

  • Trailing by five early, junior Caleb Goldstein (Fond du Lac, Wis.) hit a jumper for the Warriors' first points of the season. WLC went to the line and hit a couple free throws to take a 6-5 lead five minutes into the first half.
  • Two minutes later, the Rams rattled off a 15-3 run, giving the hosts an 11-point lead at 20-9.
  • The Warriors returned the favor, using a three-pointer from freshman Trevor Stiede (Pulaski, Wis.) and four free throws from senior Andrew Wojcik (Brookfield, Wis.) to tie the game back at 20-20.
  • NCU regained the lead, but WLC continued to hang around. Bruggink found his shooting stroke, scoring eight consecutive points as the Warriors trailed by one with just under four minutes to play in the first half.
  • Down by four, Stiede converted an and-one and Goldstein drove to the rim to give the Warriors a one-point advantage at 41-40. Sophomore Zach Zuleger (West Bend, Wis.) knocked down a jumper and senior Colin Biesterfeld (West Bend, Wis.) hit a three in transition to close the half with the Rams in front 49-46.
  • Biesterfeld immediately tied the game to start the second half, hitting a quick three-pointer just 0:18 seconds into the half.
  • North Central held onto the lead for eight minutes until a jumper from Bruggink and a layup by Zuleger gave the Warriors a 67-66 advantage with 11 minutes to play.
  • Coming out of a timeout, Bruggink extended the Warriors' lead to seven. The Rams trimmed the lead back to three with a couple of free throws, but Zuleger went to work down low and completed a couple layups and connected on a free throw to push the lead back to seven.
  • North Central hit a three to bring the game within four, until Bruggink hit a couple jumpers and Wojcik converted a pair of free throws and the Warriors took an 11-point lead.
  • With two minutes to play, the Warriors put the game away by knocking down seven of eight free throw attempts and secured a 96-82 win over the Rams.

  • Bruggink led all scorers with 23 points, shooting 9-of-20 from the floor and adding six rebounds in a game-high 36 minutes.
  • Sophomore Alex VanCrete (Green Lake, Wis.) added a career-high 17 points, while Zuleger came off the bench and finished with a career-high 16 points on an efficient 6-of-7 from the floor. Goldstein had 13 points and Wojcik scored 11 points with eight coming from the line to round out the double-digit scorers.
  • Junior Matty Farner (Muskego, Wis.) pulled down a game-high eight rebounds, as WLC out-rebounded the Rams 38-21, including dominating the offensive glass with 10 boards compared to four for North Central.
  • The Warriors shot 52.6 percent (30-of-57) from the field and converted 73.8 percent from the free throw stripe (31-of-42).

  • Micah Filer led the Rams with 19 points and six rebounds, while Germaine Caldwell added 13 points on perfect 5-of-5 shooting.
  • The Rams shot 48.3 percent (28-of-58) from the floor and knocked down nine triples.

  • The Warriors finish their season-opening two-game road trip in Minnesota when they face off against Northwestern (Minn.) (0-1) tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. The Eagles fell 76-75 Friday night to fellow NACC member MSOE. Live stats and video will be available at WLCSports.com.