MILWAUKEE – Sophomore Matthew Kirmse scored 16 points and junior Jason Palesse added 14 in the 2017-18 season-opener for the MSOE men's basketball team, a 76-68 loss to Lawrence Saturday afternoon at the Kern Center.
The Raiders (0-1) shot 46.2 percent for the game and made eight 3-pointers but found themselves playing catch-up with the Vikings (2-0) throughout the second half.
Kirmse hit four treys in the game to go with five rebounds while Palesse dished out six assists. Sophomore Jake Gebert posted nine points and senior Nolan Henton had eight. Freshman Sammy Linn had an all-around strong game in his collegiate debut with seven points, eight rebounds, four steals, and three blocked shots.
Bryce Denham scored a game-high 18 points for Lawrence and Ben Peterson notched 17 points in the game.
MSOE played relatively even with the Vikings in the second half, as it was unable to overtake a seven-point halftime deficit.
A Gebert jumper pulled the Raiders within 17-13 six minutes into the game before the visitors pulled away. Lawrence scored nine-straight points to open a 26-13 advantage. MSOE answered right back with an extended 13-4 run to make it 32-28 on the second of back-to-back Kirmse three's at 2:32.
LU then scored six of the final nine points of the frame for a 38-31 lead at the intermission.
The Red & White started the second half strong with a 10-6 run to pull within three points at 44-41 just after five-straight Gebert points just under three minutes into the frame. Unfortunately, the Vikings responded with the next seven points to assert a 10-point advantage and never looked back.
MSOE could get no closer than seven down the stretch.
The Raiders shot 50 percent in the first half but cooled off to the tune of 42.9 percent in the second half. They hit on 8-of-21 three-point attempts in the game and went 12-for-20 at the free throw line.
The difference proved to be the first half, when the visitors shot 54.8 percent. After the break, the Vikings also shot 42.9 percent, hitting on just 2-of-12 from three-point range to finish at 5-for-21 in the game. They were marginally better at the charity stripe with a 13-for-20 effort.
MSOE returns to the court Tuesday with its league-opener, hosting Lakeland at 7 p.m.