VIDEO: Schneider post-game interview
VIDEO: Watch a replay of the entire game
MEQUON, Wis. - The air was thick with intensity on Tuesday night and the Concordia University Wisconsin men's basketball team handled the pressure en route to their third straight Northern Athletics Conference North Division title, with a 69-66 victory over Edgewood College inside the R. John Buuck Field House.
Mitchell Schneider and Luke Doedens knew the momentum needed to be shifted CUW's direction and they made sure that happened in the second half. The Falcons senior duo scored 26 second half points and the Falcons danced their way to victory behind impact play from key reserves.
"I am proud of our mental toughness," head coach Shawn Cassidy said. "There were some key guys who stepped up and gave us valuable minutes tonight. We did the little things tonight and our defense was outstanding down the stretch."
On a night when eight seniors were recognized after the game for their commitment and dedication to the program, it was juniors Bryan Donaldson, Brian Jackson and Steve Zielinski who provided the spark the Falcons needed. Donaldson (Greenfield, Wis.) made a critical layup in the second half to keep the momentum in CUW's favor, Zielinski (Brown Deer, Wis.) scored a season-high 11 points in the first half and Jackson (Carol Stream, Ill.) tallied 13 points.
"Steve was a key factor in the first half, changing the momentum in our favor with his ability to defend the paint," Cassidy said. "Mitch and Luke played well again, but it was our point guards who made significant plays with when we needed it."
During the Falcons three-straight NAC North Division titles, they have accumulated a 40-8 league record.
Schneider (New Holstein, Wis.) paced the Falcons with 18 points, including three 3-pointers, to go along with a team-high seven rebounds. Doedens (Cedarburg, Wis.) added 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Senior Matt Paluchniak (Oostburg, Wis.) finished with five points and five assists in the win.
Ben Wisniewski added a game-high 27 points on 12-of-19 shooting, to go along with six rebounds, four assists and a game-high four steals. Derek Nkemnji added 13 points for the Eagles (18-6, 12-4 NAC).
The game featured 12 lead changes and three scoring ties, but it was Schneider's step-back 3-pointer from the right corner that gave CUW (19-5, 14-2 NAC) the lead for good with 9:37 remaining in the game. The triple jump started a Falcons 17-5 run that gave them a 10-point lead, their largest of the game.
EC fought back and cut its deficit to three several times down the stretch, but CUW's 5-of-6 free throw shooting in the final minute sealed the victory.
CUW will host Benedictine University on Saturday in the NAC Challenge Game inside the friendly confines of the R. John Buuck Field House. Game time has yet to be determined.
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March 13, 2012 Doedens named to NABC, D3Hoops.com All-Midwest Teams
March 9, 2012 Season Review: Men’s Basketball
February 28, 2012 Doedens named NAC Player of the Year
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February 23, 2012 Lakeland steals NAC Tournament semifinal contest over Men’s Basketball
February 22, 2012 Men’s Basketball hosts Lakeland in a NAC Tournament semifinal
February 21, 2012 Second half spurt energizes Men's Basketball in NAC Tournament victory
February 20, 2012 Men’s Basketball hosts Marian in NAC Tournament Quarterfinals Tuesday
February 18, 2012 Men’s Basketball claims No. 1 seed in NAC Tournament
February 17, 2012 Luke Doedens featured on Fox 6 Milwaukee
February 17, 2012 Men’s Basketball hosts Benedictine on Saturday, No. 1 seed at stake
February 13, 2012 NAC North crown at stake for Men's Basketball Tuesday
February 11, 2012 Doedens reaches career milestone, Men’s Basketball wins on the road
February 11, 2012 Doedens’ 1,000 points has been about growth
February 8, 2012 CIT DVDs now available
February 8, 2012 Men’s Basketball wins double overtime thriller
February 7, 2012 Men’s Basketball begins stretch run for NAC North title Wednesday
February 2, 2012 Maranatha Baptist Bible continues Men’s Basketball homestand
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January 31, 2012 Men’s Basketball grinds out overtime victory
January 30, 2012 CIT Recap: video, photos, thanks
January 30, 2012 Men’s Basketball returns home for pair of NAC games
January 28, 2012 Men’s Basketball falls in CIT Championship game
January 27, 2012 Jackson’s 3-pointer sends Men’s Basketball to CIT Championship
January 25, 2012 Men’s Basketball hosts Wisconsin Lutheran on Wednesday
January 25, 2012 Men’s Basketball routs Wisconsin Lutheran, stays undefeated at home
January 20, 2012 Men’s Basketball concludes difficult three-game road swing Saturday
January 19, 2012 Edgewood’s hot shooting downs Men’s Basketball
January 18, 2012 First place at stake Thursday night for Men’s Basketball
January 14, 2012 Doedens cousins provide first half spark in Men’s Basketball victory
January 13, 2012 Men’s Basketball hosts MSOE on Saturday
January 10, 2012 Men’s Basketball Notebook: Hitting from everywhere
January 4, 2012 Men’s Basketball travels to Dominican Saturday
December 29, 2011 Men’s Basketball holds on for non-conference win over UW-Oshkosh
December 28, 2011 Men’s Basketball plays UW-Oshkosh on Thursday
December 17, 2011 Carroll's first half run defeats Men’s Basketball
December 15, 2011 Season update: Men’s Basketball
December 10, 2011 Schneider joins 1,000 point club, Men’s Basketball cruises over Aurora
December 10, 2011 Schneider becomes 13th member of 1,000 point club
December 9, 2011 Falcon men host Aurora on Saturday at 4:15
December 7, 2011 Men’s Basketball earns NAC victory behind balanced scoring attack
December 6, 2011 Men’s Basketball travels to Marian Wednesday
December 3, 2011 Double-digit leads vanish; late FT misses cost Men's Basketball
December 2, 2011 Men's Basketball travels to Benedictine Saturday
December 1, 2011 Men’s Basketball hosts Silver Lake tonight at 7 p.m.
December 1, 2011 Men’s Basketball cruises to non-conference win over Silver Lake
November 29, 2011 Men’s Basketball begins three-game week at Wisconsin Lutheran
November 29, 2011 Schneider scores 25, hot shooting leads Men’s Basketball to victory
November 26, 2011 Men’s Basketball drains record 17 3-pointers in victory
November 25, 2011 Men’s Basketball gets set to host Concordia Chicago
November 21, 2011 Doedens earns NAC weekly honor, CUW Player of the Week
November 19, 2011 Men’s Basketball falls after 21-point first half lead
November 18, 2011 Hot shooting propels Men’s Basketball to victory over UW-Platteville
November 17, 2011 Men’s Basketball travels to Gabe Miller Tip-Off Classic
November 14, 2011 Men’s Basketball opens season at UW-La Crosse on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
November 3, 2011 Falcon Frenzy showcases basketball programs
November 1, 2011 Falcon Frenzy to highlight basketball programs Wednesday
October 27, 2011 Men’s Basketball selected to win NAC North Division
September 20, 2011 Men’s Basketball to Participate in 13th Annual Mel’s Run