Offensive rebounding saves Falcons in win over Sabres despite poor shooting

Photo by Jordan Vredeveld
Photo by Jordan Vredeveld

FOND du LAC, Wis. – Concordia University Wisconsin hauled in 22 offensive rebounds on Tuesday night to overcome a poor shooting performance and defeat Marian University, 56-48, inside Sadoff Gymnasium. The Falcons have won four in a row and six of their last seven games.

CUW shot a dismal 25.8 percent (16-of-62) from the floor in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference matchup, but was able to haul in a season-best 22 offensive rebounds which were converted into 19 second chance points. Numerous offensive possessions were kept alive by the Falcons hustle.

While the Falcons had difficulties shooting, they made it problematic for Marian as well. The Sabres finished the game shooting 38.3 percent (18-of-47) from the field and were outrebounded by a wide margin, 47-33. Neither team committed many turnovers, as CUW held a slim 10-12 advantage.

The Falcons were again efficient at the free throw line and shot 87.0 percent (20-of-23). Over the last three games they have made 86.1 percent (62-of-72) of their attempts at the charity stripe, after shooting just 68.0 percent in the previous 11 games.

Sophomore Eric Kittel (Brillion, Wis.) led CUW with 14 points, including three 3-pointers, while senior Mark Scholz (Greenfield, Wis.) had seven points and 10 rebounds (three offensive). Juniors Brett Boettcher (New Holstein, Wis.) and Keith Kahlfeldt (New Berlin, Wis.) each had nine points. Kahlfeldt pulled down seven rebounds, three offensive, while senior Dustin Thumann (Marshfield, Wis.) grabbed three offensive rebounds.

The 20-plus offensive rebounds were the most since grabbing 23 against MSOE on Feb. 16, 2013. In all, nine different Falcons grabbed one or more offensive rebounds. As well, the last time CUW held an opponent under 50 points was at Maranatha Baptist Bible College on Feb. 11, 2012.

Montrell Hobbs paced MU with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, while Josh Creed had the only double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, to go along with three blocks. Alex Stecker added 10 points for the Sabres (7-8, 6-4 NACC).

The opening 20 minutes of play featured three lead changes, before CUW took a slim 19-18 lead into the locker room at halftime. MU scored 12 of its points in the paint and the Falcons grabbed 10 offensive rebounds after shooting 6-of-27.

The second half went back-and-forth with four scoring ties and eight lead changes occurring. CUW used an 11-5 scoring run over the last four minutes to earn the victory. They shot 7-of-8 at the free throw line in the last three minutes to preserve their third-straight road win.

CUW (8-6, 7-4 NACC) continues a difficult week with its second of three games on Thursday against MSOE at 7 p.m. inside the R. John Buuck Field House.

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