Comeback Attempt Falls Short In Loss To Bucs

Photo Credit: Jeff Wilson
Photo Credit: Jeff Wilson

MILWAUKEE (WLCSports.com) – Trailing by a game-high 22 points early in the second half, the Wisconsin Lutheran College men's basketball team brought the game back to just four points with under two minutes to play, but the visiting Beloit Buccaneers scored six straight to close out a 10-point non-conference win Saturday night inside the Recreation Complex.

  • Final Score: Beloit 80, Wisconsin Lutheran 70
  • Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (2-2), Beloit (1-2)
  • Location: Recreation Complex, Milwaukee, Wis.

  • The Warriors opened with the first four points of the game before the Buccaneers went on a 9-0 run to take the lead. Beloit's first seven makes from the field were from beyond the arc as they held a 29-17 lead with seven minutes remaining in the first half.
  • Freshman Trevor Stiede (Pulaski, Wis.) knocked down a three-pointer and a pair of free throws to cut the lead down to nine, but the Buccaneers continued to score from deep, hitting on a pair of threes and carried a 49-30 lead into the break.
  • WLC scored two quick buckets to start the second half, as junior Matty Farner (Muskego, Wis.) and sophomore Alex VanCrete (Green Lake, Wis.) drove and scored layups to close the gap to 15. However, the Buccaneers maintained their lead, holding a 19-point advantage at 72-53 with five minutes to play.
  • The Warriors offense heated up late, going on a 17-2 run and bringing the game back within four. VanCrete highlighted the stretch with 10 points, finding success from deep and connecting on five free throws. Senior Andrew Bruggink (Brookfield, Wis.) contributed five points on the run, as Beloit led 74-70 with just under two minutes to play.
  • Beloit made a jumper, extending the lead back to six with a minute and a half to play. The Buccaneers connected on four free throw tries to close out the game and held off the Warriors' late comeback attempt, 80-70.

  • Bruggink paced the Warriors with 23 points on 8-of-18 shooting. VanCrete finished with 19 on 5-of-7 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the line to round of the Warriors in double figures.
  • The Warriors defense finished with 11 steals, led by sophomore Zach Zuleger (West Bend, Wis.) who had three, and forced 18 Buccaneers turnovers.
  • Farner finished with a team-high six rebounds, while senior Andrew Wojcik (Brookfield, Wis.) led Wisconsin Lutheran with six assists.
  • Wisconsin Lutheran shot 44.2 percent from the floor for the game, but just 31.3 percent (5-for-16) from long range. WLC did connect on 82.6 percent (19-for-23) of its free throw attempts.

  • Darin Empereur led the way for the Buccaneers, finishing with a game-high 25 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Tristan Shoup added 16 and Dan Babb scored 10 as Beloit shot 49.0 percent (24-of-49) from the floor. The Buccaneers also shot 52.9 percent (9-of-17) from deep in the opening half.
  • Empereur added a game-high nine rebounds as Beloit out-rebounded the Warriors 40-23.

  • The Warriors open their NACC slate on Wednesday when they host Concordia Wisconsin (1-2, 1-0 NACC). Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Live stats and video will be available at WLCSports.com.