MILWAUKEE - Jake Jarnigo (Lake Mills, Wis./Lakeside Lutheran) scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Wisconsin Lutheran College men's basketball team to a season-high 94 points in a 94-74 non-conference victory over Maranatha on Senior Night Thursday at the Recreation Complex. The 20-point win was the Warriors' (9-14) largest margin of victory of the season, and all 20 Warriors on the roster saw playing time in the game.
The opening half was a game of runs that featured four ties and five lead changes. DJ Escamilla (Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead) drilled a three-pointer at the 8:23 mark to put WLC ahead for good at 26-25. That opened up an 18-6 run that pushed the Warriors' lead to 41-31 with 2:55 remaining in the half, and WLC led 47-40 at the break.
Jarnigo paced the Warriors with 11 first-half points, and six scorers notched five points or more for WLC in the opening stanza. Both teams shot 48.6 percent in the first half but the Warriors controlled the glass 24-13, leading to a 12-6 advantage in second-chance points. WLC was 8-of-8 from the charity stripe in the half.
The Warriors lead was still seven at 60-53 with 13:23 to play before WLC blew the game open. Jarnigo drained three consecutive three-pointers within 1:08, followed by a thunderous one-handed slam by Kyle Stelse (Jefferson, Wis./Lakeside Lutheran) to cap an 11-2 run and push the lead to 73-55 with 9:40 remianing. That run was the beginning of a 30-12 surge, giving the Warriors a game-high 25-point lead at 90-65 with 2:11 left. WLC out-shot Maranatha (7-13) 50-40 percent in the second half and forced nine Crusaders' turnovers.
Jarnigo scored his 20 points in just 20 minutes of action and matched a game-high with four assists. The sophomore also shot 4-of-6 from three-point range. Stelse tallied 16 and Brett Lubbe (Las Vegas, Nev./Faith Lutheran) scored 10 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Senior Taylor Chladek (West Allis, Wis./Nathan Hale) scored nine points on Senior Night in his final home game as a Warrior.
Four Crusaders scored in double figures, led by Brady Moses with 15 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Kyle Kutz chipped in with 11 points.
The Warriors out-shot the Crusaders 49.3 percent to 44.6 percent for the game and dominated points off turnovers (20-5), points in the paint (44-30), and second-chance points (20-11).
Wisconsin Lutheran (9-14, 6-12 NACC) hits the road for a critical NACC matchup at Rockford (10-13, 6-12 NACC) Saturday at 2 p.m. The teams enter the matchup tied for the eighth and final seed in the NACC Tournament field. Live audio, stats, and video will be available for the game at wlcsports.com.