MILWAUKEE – The MSOE men's basketball team shot 65.3 percent on its way to a decisive 91-69 victory over Beloit in the season-opener for both teams Saturday afternoon at Hotchkin Arena.
The Raiders (1-0) had four players scoring double-figures and posted its fourth-best shooting game in team history in downing the Buccaneers (0-1).
Junior Matthew Kirmse scored a game-high 18 points with four made three-pointers and four assists. Senior Jason Palesse tallied 15 points and five assists while freshman Michael Pitroff had a perfect game shooting, 5-for-5 from the field and 4-for-4 at the free throw line, for 15 points in his collegiate debut. Junior Jake Gebert added 13 points of his own.
Darin Empereur led Beloit with 16 points. Tristan Shoup and Matthew Miller has 14 each and Andrew Walters finished with 12.
MSOE shot 77.3 percent in the first half in opening a 43-30 advantage at halftime. The Red & White utilized an 11-0 run to turn a 25-24 deficit into a 35-25 lead and never looked back. The advantage stretched to 21 at 51-30 when the Raiders scored the first eight points of the second half.
The Buccaneers did not go away, getting some footing with offensive rebounding in the second half. They steadily cut into their deficit, eventually pulling as close at eight points at 58-50. It was last an eight-point game at 62-54 with 9:35 and still within 11 at 70-59 when the hosts started to pull away.
The Raiders rattled off a 19-4 run to put the game out of reach with a game-high 26-point lead at 89-63 with 2:21 to play.
MSOE was shooting well above 70 percent for most of the game but fell short of the school record of 68 percent set when these teams met in 2014. The Red & White was also lights out at the free throw line, converting 21-of-23 attempts.
Beloit shot 36.9 percent from the field, hitting on 7-of-25 from three point range, and made 14-of-17 free throws.
The Raiders return to the court next Saturday at Lawrence.