MEQUON, Wis.- When Lakeland and Concordia tangle in men's basketball, the game usually goes down to the final possession.
Tonight, however, the host Falcons led most of the way in the process of an impressive 79-69 conquest of the league-leading Muskies (16-4/ 9-2 NAC) before an appreciative crowd in the Buuck Fieldhouse.
CUW grabbed an 8-0 lead over the first four minutes and LC was fortunate to be within 32-27 at the break.
The visitors had one unnerving second half run, tying the score at 41-41 on Rylee Hernandez' 3-pointer with 14:29 remaining and grabbing a brief lead at 46-45 on Justin ward's layup at the 12:15 mark.
Down the stretch it was Shawn Cassidy's contingent (11-7 overall/ 8-3 NAC)) making the big plays, however, as the Falcon talons tore into the disjointed fish down the stretch.
This was a TEAM win with CUW scoring shared all the way down the lineup. Senior Mark Pace (MIlwaukee, Wis.) led the way with a 16 point effort, doing most of his damage in the late-going.
Steve Zielinski (Sr./ Brown Deer, Wis.) added 13 points and that same number of rebounds while discouraging Lakeland's inside efforts.
Senior guard Bryan Donaldson (Greenfield, Wis.) had one of his best performances with a dozen points including six of nine free throws, four rebounds, and a pair of timely assists.
Mark Scholz (Fr./ Greenfield, Wis.) was especially effective off the bench with 8 points, half a dozen rebounds, and a trio of assists.
Jake Schwarz led LC with a monster 24 point, 13 rebound effort, but CUW defenders held his teammates collectively in check. CUW won the rebound battle and held the Muskies to 36% shooting while regaining second place and moving back within a game of LC in NAC North standings.
"This was just an outstanding team effort," understated Cassidy. Cassidy's Falcons will have a long but more pleasant overnight bus ride as they head to Nebraska for the CIT which begins Friday.