MEQUON, Wis. – Freshman guard Eric Kittel scored a career-high 22 points but it was not enough as the Concordia University Wisconsin Men's Basketball team fell to Lakeland College, 95-88, in a high-scoring affair Wednesday at the R. John Buuck Field House. Lakeland used a 13-point second half advantage to rally past the Falcons.
The visiting Muskies closed the game on a 12-5 run as the score was tied at 83-83 with 2:33 remaining. Lakeland was able to go on a 4-0 spurt, taking an 87-83 lead and was able to knock down several free throws down the stretch, holding on for the eight-point victory. When Lakeland took the 85-83 lead, it was the first time all night they held an advantage.
Both offenses were on full display, each team shooting over 50 percent from the field. A total of eight players finished in double figures, four for each team, including the Muskies Justin Ward who had game-highs in points (35), rebounds (10) and blocked shots (4). Lakeland finished the game shooting 56.1 percent (37-for-66) from the floor as Ward made 15-of-21 from the field.
The Falcons offense was lighting up the scoreboard as well, making 53.8 percent (35-of-65) of their attempts, including a 63.6 percent (21-for-33) first-half effort. Kittel (Brillion, Wis.) had 18 points and four rebounds before halftime, knocking down seven of his first eight attempts in the game.
CUW used that strong first-half shooting to build a 22-6 lead within the first seven minutes of play. Lakeland would start chipping away at that point, cutting the Falcons advantage to 53-47 before halftime struck.
The second half would start in favor of the Falcons as they opened on a 15-6 run, taking a 68-56 lead with 15:44 left on the clock. Lakeland would surge for nine of the next 11 points, cutting the Falcons advantage to just five with 13:10 to play. CUW went up 79-72 with under 10 minutes to go but the Muskies would rally to tie the game at 83-83 before capturing their first lead on a Ward layup with under two to play.
Both teams did a majority of their damage inside the paint as Lakeland scored 62 points in the lane, while CUW countered with 50. Three-point shooting went in favor of the Falcons, connecting on 8-of-19 (42.1 percent) from deep, while Lakeland made just 25 percent (4-of-16) from downtown. The Falcons also got a strong performance from their bench, outscoring the LC reserves 29-11, including 16 points from the suddenly scorching Garrett Wenzelburger (Hartland, Wis.).
Lakeland's starters all finished with at least eight points, including 18 from guard Joey Burris. Brandon Hagenow added 13 for the Muskies, who improved to 11-3 in conference play with the win. The Falcons also got double-digit scoring performances from sophomores Keith Kahlfeldt (New Berlin, Wis.) and Bradley Prinsen (Oostburg, Wis.) who finished with 15 and 12, respectively. Junior Brett Boettcher (New Holstein, Wis.) added nine rebounds for CUW.
CUW (9-11, 7-8 NACC) will return to the court on Saturday when they hit the road for the first time since January 16. CUW will visit Aurora University with tipoff scheduled for 3 p.m.