LISLE, Illinois – Sophomore Matthew Kirmse scored a career-high 28 points to lead the MSOE basketball team to an 86-77 victory over Benedictine Saturday afternoon at the Rice Center.
The Raiders (8-5, 7-2 NACC) went on a late 10-0 run to pull away from the Eagles (7-6, 6-2 NACC) down the stretch and pull ahead of them by a half game for first place in the NACC standings.
Kirmse shot 10-for-15 from the field and buried six 3-pointers on 11 attempts. Junior Jason Palesse added 16 points and five assists while sophomore Jake Gebert notched nine points and seven rebounds.
Brayden Olson led BenU with 26 points. Zach Gorney and Eric Grygo had 13 points each and Jens Soderholm chipped in 11 points off the bench.
The home team held a 68-63 lead on a three-pointer with 7:24 remaining in regulation before MSOE took off. Kirmse answered with a three-pointer and, after the teams trading a couple scoring possessions, the Raiders scored 10-straight points to open a game-high nine-point lead at 81-72 on a pair of Palesse free throws with 54 seconds to play.
Those free throws were part of a 5-for-6 effort at the charity stripe in the final minutes to clinch the game.
MSOE shot 60.7 percent in the second half and hit on 5-of-7 three-pointers on its way to 50 points. The team finished at an even 50 percent with a 42.1 percent flip from three-point range. Benedictine shot 40 percent in the game and made 9-of-27 three-point tries.
There were just 10 turnovers in the game, with each team committing five.
The Raiders return to the floor Tuesday at home against Concordia Chicago.