Men’s Basketball claims No. 1 seed in NAC Tournament
MEQUON, Wis. - The shots were not falling as they normally do for Concordia University Wisconsin's men's basketball team, but a full-court press frustrated Benedictine University throughout the second half. The Falcons scored 25 points off turnovers en route to a 67-62 victory on Saturday afternoon inside the R. John Buuck Field House.
With the victory, the Falcons claimed the No. 1 overall seed in the Northern Athletics Conference Tournament. CUW shot just 37.9 percent in the win, but forced 20 BU turnovers and converted those miscues into 25 points.
BU took a two-point lead with 12:54 remaining in the contest, before CUW went to its full-court trap defense. The Eagles then had trouble getting the ball across half court as they went scoreless for 2:49 as the Falcons turned a two-point deficit into a five-point lead.
Brian Jackson, Matt Paluchniak and Mitchell Schneider were the catalysts of the CUW pressure, recording three steals apiece. Many of the Falcons 11 steals were converted into 11 fastbreak points.
Senior Luke Doedens (Cedarburg, Wis.) led CUW with 15 points, including three 3-pointers. Schneider (senior, New Holstein, Wis.) added 12 points, blocked a team-high two field goal attempts and grabbed four rebounds.
CUW's bench played especially well in the second half as seniors Nick Doedens (Germantown, Wis.) and David Lopez (Chicago, Ill.) scored eight and six points, respectively. Senior Erik Condia (Orange, Calif.) and junior Steve Zielinski (Brown Deer, Wis.) combined to score 13 points and grab nine rebounds.
"I can't say enough about the improvement of Steve and Erik," head coach Shawn Cassidy said. "Their presence inside is instrumental in our wins."
The Falcons host No. 8-seeded Marian University on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the NAC Tournament inside the R. John Buuck Field House.