MILWAUKEE – Sophomore Matthew Kirmse scored a game-high 29 points and sophomore Jake Gebert hit a go-ahead layup with 26 seconds remaining to send the MSOE men's basketball past Marian 72-71 Tuesday evening at the Kern Center.
The Raiders (12-6, 11-3 NACC) overcame a late deficit for the second-straight game, outscoring the Sabres (8-10, 7-6 NACC) 12-4 down the stretch to complete the comeback.
The win was No. 300 of head coach Brian Miller's coaching career. It was his 215th win at the helm of the Raiders' program, adding to 59 wins at Lakeland and 26 wins at Concordia Chicago.
Kirmse scored 19 points in the first half, adding 10 in the second and shooting 6-of-10 from three-point range. Junior Jason Palesse scored 16 points and dished out seven assists in the game. Gebert finished with nine points and two late blocked shots.
Logan Hamilton led Marian with 16 points off the bench. Alex Manhardt had a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds while Tyrese Pinson chipped in 11 points.
The Sabres led 67-60 on a Pinson three-pointer with 5:20 remaining in regulation. Kirmse started the comeback with a pair of free throws and Palesse hit a layup. Freshman Bailey McDaniel's layup then made it a one-possession game at 69-66.
Palesse hit on a free throw and then followed with a go-ahead three-pointer to make it 70-59 at the 2:08 mark. Hamilton answered for MU with a layup at 1:17 to set up the final tense moments.
After a Raider offensive foul, senior Nolan Henton came up with a big steal to get the Red & White a chance for a go-ahead play. Palesse found Gebert at the top of the key and Gebert drove right to the basket and hit a layup to make it 72-71 with 26 seconds remaining.
Seconds later, Marian called timeout. Coming out of the meeting, the visitors got two looks at the rim, but the MSOE defense swarmed the hoop and came up with a second rebound with 0.3 seconds on the clock to clinch the game.
The Raiders shot 51.2 percent for the game, including a healthy 9-of-17 (.529) from three-point range. They got to the free throw line 28 times, converting 19. The Sabres shot 42.1 percent in the game and made just 4-of-16 three's. They made an efficient 19-of-22 free throws.
MSOE led by as many as 11 in the first half and, after an MU comeback, carried a 35-32 lead into halftime. Marian took its first lead of the night at the 13:43 mark of the second half.
On Saturday, the Raiders outscored Aurora 12-2 down the stretch to overcome a nine-point deficit with under three minutes to play. In that game, senior Tegan Miles hit the go-ahead basket with just under a minute to play.
The Red & White are back on the court Saturday at Wisconsin Lutheran.