MEQUON, Wis. - Led by cousins Luke and Nick Doedens, the Concordia University Wisconsin men's basketball team used a 22-3 scoring run in the first half to blow Saturday afternoon's game wide open inside the R. John Buuck Field House. The Falcons eventually cruised to an 82-61 victory over MSOE in Northern Athletics Conference play.
CUW found themselves in an 8-8 deadlock with the Raiders five minutes into the game before a 22-point outburst - each Doeden scored six points during the seven minute run - gave CUW comfortable breathing room the rest of the way.
On a night when the Falcons had honorary guests from Mel's Pig Roast/Run and Special Olympians, they finished the contest shooting 52.7 percent from the field in large part to seniors Mitchell Schneider and Luke Doedens who combined to shoot 15-of-22 from the floor, including 9-of-14 from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Falcons (10-3, 6-1 NAC) also outrebounded the Raiders 37-22 overall and had a 22-9 advantage during the first 20 minutes. CUW's bench finished with 33 points and has scored 30-plus in five of the last six games.
"Our execution on both ends of the floor, especially in the first half, is what gave us this win tonight," head coach Shawn Cassidy said. "I have to say our defensive intensity during the first five minutes of the second half is the best I have seen this year."
After leading 48-31 at halftime, CUW's defense forced MSOE into four turnovers and held them to 1-for-4 shooting during the first five minutes of the second period as the Falcons increased their lead to 27 points, 62-35. It didn't stop there as CUW's defense led to offense, which turned into a 38-point margin - their largest of the game - with 10:31 remaining in the game.
"The play of Zach (Neumann) and Nick (Doedens) was especially impressive tonight," Cassidy said. "They were chasing down loose balls and creating not only for themselves, but for others."
CUW was led by Luke Doedens who had 22 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists. Schneider added 18 points, four steals and three assists. Senior Matt Paluchniak (Oostburg, Wis.) dished out four assists, Nick Doedens scored nine points and junior Steve Zielinski hauled in a game-high seven rebounds.
MSOE was led by Oren Bloom and Michael Ricciardi who scored 14 and 12 points, respectively. Nathan Verdun added nine points off the bench.
With the game out of reach at 77-39, both teams cleared their benches and gave valuable minutes to underclassmen.
CUW returns to the hardwood on Tuesday night when it travels to Lakeland College for a 7 p.m. NAC matchup. The contest has the potential to be a shootout with the teams ranking first and second in the NAC in 3-point shooting.
On Saturday the Falcons and their honorary guests enjoyed each other's camaraderie, along with pizza from Tomaso's of Mequon, after the victory.
"As a team we would like to thank Tom 'Mel' Stanton and all Special Olympians for attending our game today," Cassidy said. "Their support means a lot to this program and their cheering makes the R. John Buuck Field House a loud and difficult place for opponents to play."
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December 6, 2011 Men’s Basketball travels to Marian Wednesday
December 3, 2011 Double-digit leads vanish; late FT misses cost Men's Basketball
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