Men's Basketball falls to Benedictine in high-scoring NACC action
LISLE, Ill. – Offense was on full display Saturday between the Concordia University Wisconsin Men's Basketball team and Benedictine University. Unfortunately for the Falcons, Benedictine was able to outlast them, 99-94, in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference matchup at the Rice Center.
The two teams combined for 193 points as both shot over 55 percent from the field (CUW – 55.9, BU -61.7). Nine players scored in double figures, including five for the Falcons who were paced by Bradley Prinsen (Oostburg, Wis.) as he went for another career high, pouring in 26 points.
Despite all the scoring, the Falcons held the lead just twice in the contest, both being two-point advantages late in the first half. Benedictine had a game-high 12 point lead on a couple different occasions in the second half and led by 10 with just under seven minutes remaining. CUW would trim the lead to as little as one down the stretch, but BU held on, escaping with the conference win.
The opening half saw both teams shoot the basketball extremely well as the Falcons connected on 59.4 percent (19-for-32) of their shots, but trailed 44-42 at the break. The Eagles countered with 56.2 percent (18-for-32) first-half shooting. A big reason CUW found itself down at the break was poor free throw shooting, connecting on just 1-of-8 from the charity stripe. Sophomore Keith Kahlfeldt (New Berlin, Wis.) scored 10 points to pace the Falcons in the first half. The Falcons would great improve their free throw shooting in the second half, making 22-of-25 (88 percent).
Benedictine would control the early portion of the second half, building a 62-50 lead with 15:09 remaining in the game. The Eagles lead would read 79-69 with 6:39 remaining in the game but CUW posted a 9-2 run to make the score 81-78. Senior Steven Brodie (Oak Park, Calif.) capped off the Falcons run with a 3-point basket with 4:28 remaining in the game.
BU would again extend its lead, holding a 92-85 advantage with 2:21 remaining. The Falcons would fight back with a 9-4 run to cut the Eagles lead to 95-94 with four seconds left in the game. Prinsen scored seven points during that span, but unfortunately Benedictine clutched up from the free throw line, making four over the final four seconds.
Prinsen's 26 points marked the fourth time this season he has set or tied a new career scoring mark. Joining him in double figures were Brodie (15), Kahlfeldt (14), freshman Eric Kittel (14) and sophomore Brett Boettcher (12). Kittel's 14 points set a new career-high, while Boettcher (New Holstein, Wis.) also grabbed a team-best seven rebounds. Kittel and Prinsen each added five assists.
Tim McGinty was the star for Benedictine as he posted a double-double with game-highs in points (29) and rebounds (10). Michael Blaszczyk added 20 points for the Eagles, while Tahron Harvey chipped in 18.
The loss drops CUW to 2-3 in the NACC, while Benedictine improves to 2-2 in conference play. The Falcons will return to action next Saturday when they visit Millikin University for a non-conference matchup set to begin at 3 p.m. The game is part of a current seven-game road swing for the Falcons.