MILWAUKEE – The MSOE men's basketball team scored the first 12 points of the game and led by as many as 18 before holding off Edgewood down the stretch in a 72-64 victory Wednesday night at the Kern Center.
The Raiders (13-7, 12-4 NACC) never trailed and were never tied with the Eagles (7-13, 7-8 NACC) on the night but did see the visitors pull with six points late in regulation.
Junior Jason Palesse scored 18 points to lead the way, going 8-for-8 at the free throw line and adding five assists and two steals. Sophomore Gabe Wear scored a career-high 15 points and added two steals, as well. Sophomore Matthew Kirmse chipped in 13 points.
Travis Kell led Edgewood with 25 points and 10 rebounds in the game before fouling out late. He sparked the second-half comeback with 16 points after halftime. Emil Radisevic scored 15 points off the bench.
MSOE hit its first five of the shots of the game and the visitors missed their first six attempts to jump out early. The lead steadily grew to 24-6 with 8:04 remaining before halftime. The Raiders led by 18 again at 36-18 in the closing minutes of the half and took a 17-point lead into the intermission.
After the break, the Red & White went cold, allowing the Eagles to creep back into the game behind Kell. Edgewood opened the frame with a 15-6 run to pull within single digits at 54-46 for the first time since the opening stages of the game.
The game got as close as six points on a couple of occasions in inside the final seconds. Sy Staver hit a three-pointer to make it a 64-58 game with 47 seconds remaining. The Raiders then hit eight-straight three throw attempts to cancel out two more late three-pointers and seal the victory.
MSOE shot 60.9 percent in the field half before putting together an 18-for-20 effort at the free throw line in the second half to remain in control of the game. The team shot 29.6 percent in the second half to finish at 44 percent for the game, hitting on 5-of-13 three-point attempts. The Red & White finished 23-for-27 at the free throw line.
Edgewood finished at 44.8 percent shooting for the night after a 53.1 percent clip in the second half and hit on 5-of-20 three-pointers thanks to four made threes in the closing minutes. The visitors attempted just 12 charity tosses in the game, making seven.
With the win, the Raiders remain in the hunt for the No. 1 seed in the NACC Tournament, sitting a half game behind Benedictine. The Eagles visit the Kern Center Saturday. MSOE is looking for a regular season sweep of BenU after an 84-77 victory on the road Jan. 6.