Warriors Fall To Hot-Shooting Spartans

Photo Credit: Jeff Wilson
Photo Credit: Jeff Wilson

AURORA, Ill. (WLCSports.com) – The Wisconsin Lutheran College men's basketball team concluded its 2017 calendar year with a 120-90 defeat on the road against Aurora Saturday afternoon inside Thornton Gymnasium. The Spartans shot 52.6 percent from the floor and out-scored the Warriors 29-8 in points off turnovers.

THE BASICS

  • Final Score: Aurora 120, Wisconsin Lutheran 90
  • Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (1-9, 1-5 NACC), Aurora (6-6, 5-2 NACC)
  • Location: Thornton Gymnasium, Aurora, Ill.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Warriors jumped out to an early 6-0 lead behind three pointers from Collin Kennedy (Holmen, Wis.) and Colin Biesterfeld (West Bend, Wis.) on their opening two possessions.
  • AU responded with the next seven points to take the 7-6 lead just three minutes into the game.
  • Chase Nowak (Milwaukee, Wis.) buried a contested corner three pointer to knot the game up at 18-18 with 13:51 remaining in the opening half.
  • The Warriors held a 21-20 lead after another three pointer from Kennedy at the 13:18 mark, but Wisconsin Lutheran went on a scoring drought that spanned over four minutes and saw the Spartans take a 33-21 lead.
  • The Warriors battled back to cut the Aurora lead to seven on several occasions, but the Spartans pushed their lead to 16 points at 47-31 after a five-free throw possession.
  • The hosts lead reached as many as 33 over the final four minutes as Aurora took a 71-38 lead going into halftime after a buzzer-beating corner three pointer.
  • Aurora shot 59 percent in the first half and made nine three-pointers, compared to WLC's 45.2 percent. AU also didn't commit a turnover in the opening 20 minutes.
  • Kennedy led the Warriors with 17 points in the first half.
  • Biesterfeld scored five straight points for Wisconsin Lutheran early on in the second half to cut the deficit to 73-46.
  • AU extended its lead to 101-66 with under 10 minutes remaining in the game.
  • Wisconsin Lutheran's 17-4 run cut the lead to 105-83 with five minutes left in regulation.
  • Aurora never saw its lead drop below 20 down the stretch and closed out the conference victory, 120-90.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • Collin Kennedy led the Warriors with 22 points, four rebounds, and two steals.
  • Nowak added 17, while Biesterfeld contributed 13.
  • Mack Knueppel (Jackson, Wis.) reached double digits with 11 points and grabbed five boards while dishing out a team-high five assists.
  • WLC shot 49.3 percent (33-of-67) for the game and a season-high 56 percent from behind the arc (14-of-25).
  • Wisconsin Lutheran struggled from the charity stripe, connecting on a season-low 10-of-18 attempts for 55.6 percent.

FOR THE FOES

  • Max Vickers and Marcus Myers each scored 24 points to lead the hosts.
  • Ty Carlson added 18 points and six rebounds off the bench for AU.
  • Aurora shot 52.6 percent (41-of-78) from the field in the matchup while making 13 three-pointers and 25 of 27 free throws.
  • Aurora controlled the boards, 46-32, and forced 16 turnovers.
  • The Spartans won their 11th straight game over the Warriors.

UP NEXT

  • The Warriors return to action Wednesday when they travel to Mequon to take on Concordia Wisconsin (6-6, 4-3 NACC) in a NACC matchup. Tip-off inside Buuck Fieldhouse is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. The Falcons, who split the matchups a season ago against WLC, have won four of their last five games. Links to live stats and video will be available at WLCSports.com.