MILWAUKEE – Freshman Matthew Kirmse scored 14 points and five other players scored at least seven as the MSOE men's basketball team defeated Lakeland 68-55 Wednesday evening at the Kern Center.
The Raiders (10-11, 9-8 NACC) broke open a tight game with a 9-0 run in the first half and pulled away from the Muskies (8-13, 6-11 NACC) in the second half with a 9-2 run.
Kirmse knocked down three 3-pointers and scored 11 of his points in the first half. Senior Alex Darville and junior Tegan Miles scored eight points each and junior Greg Pigg and sophomores Jason Palesse and Ben Volkmann had seven points each.
There was balance throughout the rotation for MSOE, which got 40 points from its bench compared to just four for the visitors.
Brandon James scored a game-high 23 points for Lakeland. Joshuan McNeal added 11.
The game started out very tight, with five ties and four lead changes by the time it was 16-15 in favor of LU. The Raiders then scored the next nine points to open an eight-point lead at 24-16 heading into the final two minutes of the first half. A James three just before halftime made it 28-23 at the break.
Lakeland pulled within three points 2:30 into the second half when MSOE pulled off another run. This time, it was an 11-2 stretch that pushed the lead into double-digits at 41-29 at the 12:08 mark.
Kirmse and Pigg later hit back-to-back three-pointers to make it a 13-point game and the lead peaked twice at 14 on Darville baskets. The second instance came with 5:18 remaining and the visitors would get no closer than nine points the rest of the way.
The Raiders shot over 52 percent in the second half, including 4-of-6 from three-point range, to finish the game at 44.4 percent. They finished 5-for-13 from downtown and 15-for-24 at the free throw line. Lakeland shot 38.2 percent from the field, making just 3-of-14 from beyond the arc, and went 10-for-13 at the charity stripe.
MSOE closes out its home schedule Saturday, hosting Dominican at 4:15.