MILWAUKEE – The MSOE put together an all-around dominant performance in handing Maranatha a 91-67 defeat Thursday night at Hotchkin Arena.
The Raiders (8-1) led by 13 at halftime and would lead the Sabercats (4-4) by as many as 30 in rolling to the victory.
Junior Matthew Kirmse finished with a game-high 22 points in just 21 minutes. He knocked down four 3-pointers and grabbed six boards in the game. Senior Jason Palesse had 13 points, three steals, and three assists, while freshman Michael Pitrof added 11 points off the bench.
Stephen Wilkerson led Maranatha with 10 points off the bench. Rob Sonnenberg and Matt Gill scored eight points each.
The first seven minutes were back and forth with neither team able to build a lead higher than three. That would change when Kirmse hit back-to-back three-pointers to turn a 16-14 deficit into a 20-16 lead. The advantage was just three when MSOE went on an 11-3 run to pull away. When Kirmse hit his fourth three-pointer of the half, the score was 35-24 at the 6:20 mark.
The Sabercats were unable to cut into the Red & White's lead much, getting as close as nine on a few occasions before the Raiders hit four-straight free throws to end the half and head into halftime leading by 13 points at 48-35.
MSOE quickly added to that lead right out of the gates after the intermission. The home team started on a 7-2 run and, after a three-point play, scored 10 of the game's next 11 points to open a 24-point lead to effectively put the game out of reach with over 15 minutes remaining in the game.
The Raiders' lead would get no lower than 21 points the rest of the way and peaked at 30 when freshman Kam Mitchell hit a layup to make it 85-55 with 6:46 to play.
MSOE shot 47.1 percent from the field and hit on 9-of-24 three-point attempts. The team was also effective at the free throw line, shooting a 16-for-20 clip at the charity stripe. Maranatha shot 42.9 percent for the game, including 6-for-17 from beyond the arc.
The Raiders return to action Saturday at Aurora.