Balance Paves the Way to Men's Basketball's Eighth-Straight Win

Balance Paves the Way to Men's Basketball's Eighth-Straight Win

MILWAUKEE - Five players scored in double-figures for the second-straight game to lead the MSOE men's basketball team to its eighth-straight win, 82-72, over Lakeland Saturday afternoon at Hotchkin Arena.

The Raiders (14-1, 9-1 NACC) completed a regular-season sweep of the Muskies (6-8, 4-5 NACC) and moved into first place in the league standings with a Concordia Wisconsin loss.

Junior Matthew Kirmse led the way with 15 points while junior Jake Gebert posted a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Josh Herzog had 12 points and freshman Michael Pitrof 10 off the bench. Senior Gabe Wear rounded out the group with 10 points.

Pat McDonald scored 20 points to pace Lakeland. Zach Hasenstein and Eric Nygaard added 10 points each.

MSOE never trailed in the game but found the Muskies battling back every time the hosts tried to pull away. The Raiders opened the game on a 13-4 run and opened a lead as large as 16 at 30-14 before the visitors got back in the game. LU ended the first half on a 12-4 run and scored the first seven points of the second half to pull within 38-37.

The score remained close before the Raiders rattled off nine-straight points to re-assert a 12-point lead at 60-48. Once again, the Muskies were persistent with a 14-4 run to make it a 64-62 game. The Red & White had one more run in them with seven of the next eight points to open an eight-point advantage.

Lakeland would pull within five down the stretch but MSOE steadily pulled away and snuffed out any more attempts to pull closer.

The Raiders shot 46 percent from the field and hit on 6-of-18 from three-point range. They worked their way to the free throw line 27 times, making 18. The Red & White protected the ball with a season-low seven turnovers, its fourth game of under 10 miscues in the last five outings.

Lakeland was just off the pace at 45.2 percent overall but struggled from deep with just a 7-for-25 clip from beyond the arc. LU went 9-for-13 at the free throw line.

MSOE has put its balance on full display over the last three games with a combined 14 double-digit scorers in that time. No player had reached 20 points while the team is averaging over 85 points in the three games.

The Raiders put their winning streak on the line Tuesday at Illinois Tech.