MEQUON, Wis. - The Doedens cousins and Steve Zielinski spurred a second half 11-2 run in less than three minutes and the Concordia University Wisconsin men's basketball team hung on for a 73-66 victory over Marian University on Tuesday night during the Northern Athletics Conference Tournament quarterfinal matchup.
Following a nearly five minute scoring drought that saw MU get within four points, CUW shifted its offense into high gear. The Falcons received a pair of putback layups from Zielinski, while Luke Doedens nailed a pair of long balls and Nick Doedens sank another to put the No. 1 overall seed in the NAC Tournament back in front by 15 points.
The Falcons offense would slow slightly in the final minutes, but they discouraged the Sabres enough on offense to keep their postseason dreams alive. It was a tale of two halves statistically, but CUW's offensive arsenal was more than MU could handle inside the R. John Buuck Field House.
CUW will host No. 4 Lakeland College in the NAC Tournament semifinals on Thursday at 7 p.m. inside the R. John Buuck Field House. The Falcons have twice defeated the Muskies this season, both in dramatic fashion.
Senior Luke Doedens (Cedarburg, Wis.) scored a game-high 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including four triples for CUW. Senior Mitchell Schneider (New Holstein, Wis.) finished with 15 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Junior Brian Jackson (Carol Stream, Ill.) concluded the victory with six points and a game-high 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Zielinski tallied a career-high-tying 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field. The 6-foot-9 center scored nine points in the opening half and ended the game with four rebounds. He now has 32 points in the last three games on 15-of-22 shooting.
MU (10-16) had four players in double-figures and was led by Jeff Harris' 16 points. Sam Koslowski added 13 points, while Mike Keller and Cody Veleke scored 12 and 11 points, respectively. The Sabres finished with 20 offensive rebounds and scored 22 points on those second opportunities.
CUW (21-5) shot 55.3 percent in the win, after hitting on a blistering 65.2 percent in the opening half.
Leading by just a point with 11:49 remaining in the first period the Falcons used a 10-0 to go ahead 24-13. Zielinski scored seven points during the run and helped CUW maintain a double-digit lead for the next 16 minutes of the game.
The Falcons led 39-26 at the break behind 28 points in the paint and a 21-9 advantage in bench production.
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