MEQUON, Wis. – Concordia University Wisconsin lacked intensity and missed crucial free throw attempts, as Wisconsin Lutheran College stole an important Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference game, 73-69, on Wednesday evening inside the R. John Buuck Field House.
The Falcons were flat in the first half, scoring just 30 points, and finished a disappointing 14-of-25 (56 percent) from the free throw. They have lost four of their past six games since Jan. 8, three of which were at home.
CUW (8-9, 6-7 NACC) never led in the game and trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half before getting within a point, 63-62, with 3:47 to play. Mark Scholz led a 25-14 scoring run over a 12-and-a-half minute span in the second period to make the game interesting.
The Falcons had their chance to tie or take the lead down the stretch, but was 1-of-4 from the floor over the last 26 seconds. A bright spot for them was their 35-21 advantage in bench production.
Scholz (junior, Greenfield, Wis.) and sophomore Keith Kahlfeldt (New Berlin, Wis.) led CUW with 15 points apiece, while sophomore Garrett Wenzelburger (Hartland, Wis.) had a career game with 12 points and eight rebounds. Freshman Eric Kittel (Brillion, Wis.) added 13 points, including three 3-pointers, and three assists.
Kyle Stelse led the Warriors (5-11, 3-9 NACC) with 15 points and a game-high four steals. Taylor Chladek added 11 points, including three triples, while Jim Marose had 11 points and eight rebounds. Brett Lubbe finished with eight points and a game-high nine rebounds.
WLC used an 11-2 scoring run in the first half to push its advantage to 12 points, 37-25, with 2:10 to play before the break. They took a 39-30 lead into the locker room behind an impressive 53.1 percent (17-of-32) from the field. CUW, on the other hand, shot 39.3 percent (11-of-28) in the opening half.
The Falcons slowly chipped away at a double-figure deficit in the final 20 minutes, but couldn't find the right combination offensively to pull out a come-from-behind win.
CUW prepares for the 63rd Annual Concordia Invitational Tournament on Friday with an 8 p.m. contest against Concordia University Chicago. The game will also count towards the NACC standings.