Men’s Basketball Falls Short at Benedictine

Men’s Basketball Falls Short at Benedictine

LISLE, Illinois – The MSOE men's basketball team rallied from an early deficit but could not overcome a late run in falling to Benedictine 69-65 Wednesday night at the Rice Center.

Despite the loss, the Raiders (19-3, 14-3 NACC) maintained its 1.5-game lead atop the NACC standings with three regular-season games remaining.

Juniors Travis Ballard and Matthew Kirmse led the way with 14 points each. Junior Gabe Wear rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 points.

Bryan Jakobsze posted a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds for Benedictine. Kenny Bogus and Michael Johnson added 12 points each and Kyle Graebner chipped in with 10.

MSOE last led at 58-56 after a pair of free throws with 3:33 remaining in regulation. The Eagles then came back with six-straight points for a four-point advantage at 62-58.

Sophomore Bailey McDaniel hit a layup with 1:21 remaining, setting up a tight final minute. The teams traded free throws before the hosts had a 1-for-2 trip to the free throw line, giving the Raiders the ball with 23 seconds remaining and trailing 65-62. Their three-point attempt with 15 seconds on the clock was off the mark and Benedictine hit two more free throws to seal the game.

Kirmse hit a consolation three-pointer with two seconds on the clock. Another two free throws effectively ran out the clock.

The Eagles got off to a fast start, building an early 10-point lead at 18-8 at the 12:46 mark of the opening half. MSOE responded with an 11-2 run to pull within one at 20-19. The hosts pulled away again and settled in for a 35-29 at halftime.

After Benedictine hit the first bucket of the second half, the Raiders rattled off a 12-2 run for a 41-39 lead. The game remained tight heading into the final minutes.

MSOE shot under 40 percent from the field for just the second time this season at 38.3 percent. The team was 6-for-16 from three-point range and 13-for-14 at the free throw line. BenU finished the game shooting 42.4 percent with 7-of-17 coming from beyond the arc. The Eagles went to the free throw line 18 times, making 12.

The Raiders are back in action Saturday in a pivotal league showdown with second-place Concordia Wisconsin in Mequon.