Warriors Hold Off Cougars' Rally, Clinch NACC Tournament Berth

Photo Credit: Steve Frommell, d3photography.com
Photo Credit: Steve Frommell, d3photography.com

RIVER FOREST, Ill. (WLCSports.com) – Collin Kennedy (Holmen, Wis./Luther) recorded his 12 double-double of the season behind 28 points and 13 rebounds and the Wisconsin Lutheran College men's basketball team clinched a spot in the NACC Tournament for the fourth straight year after an 88-78 win over Concordia Chicago on Saturday evening inside Geiseman Gymnasium.

THE BASICS

  • Final Score: Wisconsin Lutheran 88, Concordia Chicago 78 
  • Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (13-10, 10-8 NACC), Concordia Chicago (5-18, 4-14 NACC)
  • Location: Geiseman Gymnasium, River Forest, Ill. | Attendance: 260

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Warriors came out strong to open the game, holding a 15-9 lead just five minutes into the action.
  • WLC broke open a three-point lead with an 11-0 run and led by double-digits for the first time at the 10:15 mark following Tyler De Young's (Waupun, Wis./Central Wisconsin Christian) put-back jumper. The Warriors led 31-16 at the end of the run with 8:14 left in the opening half.  
  • The Cougars never got within seven points the rest of the half, and Wisconsin Lutheran led 45-33 after the first 20 minutes of play.
  • Wisconsin Lutheran shot 44.1 percent from the field and held CUC to just 34.4 percent and 2-for-15 from behind the arc. Chase Nowak (Milwaukee, Wis./St. Francis) led WLC with 15 points in the first half. Collin Kennedy added 11 points with seven rebounds.
  • Collin Kennedy's layup just a minute and a half into the second half gave the Warriors a 15-point lead at 50-35. The hosts battled back to trim WLC's lead to single digits, 58-49, at the 13:05 mark.
  • The Cougars cut the lead down to just six points, but WLC pushed it back to double-digits with 5:14 left in regulation. The lead grew to a game-high 16 points with 4:12 remaining.
  • CUC wouldn't go away quietly though, as it made four straight three-pointers and a pair of free throws to cut its deficit down to just four points at 81-77 with 0:56 seconds left. 
  • The Warriors made seven of their final eight free-throw attempts in the final minute to seal their seventh win in their last eight tries against the Cougars.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • Collin Kennedy paced the Warriors with 28 points and 13 rebounds, both game-highs, for his fourth straight double-double and 12th of the season. Nowak netted 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and four steals. Tanner Schieve (Slinger, Wis./Slinger) added 16 points for the Warriors' backcourt and dished out four assists while grabbing seven rebounds.
  • Both teams shot pretty evenly throughout the game, as WLC shot 44.3 percent (27-for-61) compared to CUC's 41.8 percent (28-for-67). 
  • The Warriors, who never trailed in the game, made 26 free throws and out-rebounded the hosts, 43-40.
  • WLC's 88 points and 37 free-throw attempts were its second-most of the season. 
  • Four Cougars reached double-figures in the game, led by 16 points from Mitch Pelissier.

UP NEXT

  • The Warriors conclude their regular season next week with a trip to Lakeland (8-14, 6-11 NACC) on Tuesday for the first of two conference road games. WLC defeated the Muskies back on Jan. 10 in Milwaukee, 71-57. LU has dropped five of its last six games. Links to live stats and video will be available at WLCSports.com.