MILWAUKEE – The MSOE men's basketball team shot 54.9 percent from the field and put four players in double-figures scoring in defeating Concordia Wisconsin 85-68 Thursday night at Hotchkin Arena.
The Raiders (18-2, 13-2 NACC) prevailed handily in a showdown of the top two teams in the NACC, pulling 1.5 games ahead of the second-place Falcons (13-6, 11-3 NACC).
Sophomore Baily McDaniel scored a career-high 18 points off the bench to lead the offense. Junior Travis Ballard scored 16 points while senior Jason Palesse and freshman Michael Pitrof had 10 points apiece. Palesse added seven assists and four steals in the game.
Jordan Johnson and Joey Zietlow scored 16 points each for CUW. Josh Hau and Andrew Fratzke finished with 10 points each.
MSOE had the 39-31 lead at halftime after a high-paced first half. The Raiders seized control early, turning a 10-8 deficit inti a 21-12 lead with a 13-2 run. CUW then pulled within five points when a 9-2 run thrust the Red & White out to a 12-point advantage at 33-21 with just over 6:30 to play in the frame.
The Raiders scored the first four points of the second half and never looked back, gradually adding to their lead throughout the period. Their advantage peaked at 24 points with junior Jake Gebert hitting a layup to make it 78-54 with 3:45 remaining.
MSOE shot 56.5 percent in the second half and went 17-of-24 at the free throw line to pull away. The team made 7-of-16 three-point attempts in the game and finished with 30 free throw attempts, making 24.
Concordia Wisconsin shot just 39.7 percent in the game, including 6-for-23 from beyond the arc. The visitors finished 12-of-14 at the free throw line.
With the win, the Red & White became the first team to clinch a place in the NACC Tournament.
The Raiders return to the floor Saturday, hosting Aurora.