By Luke Stanczyk
In a battle of Northern Athletics Conference division champions, the Concordia-Wisconsin Falcons (20-5, 14-2) were able to get past the Benedictine Eagles (12-13, 10-6) by a score of 67-62 on Saturday afternoon in Mequon, Wis.
Within the first three minutes of the game, BenU found themselves down big as CUW was able to go on a 13-4 run. The Falcons were able to hit three three-pointers in that time period, two of them by senior Luke Doedens.
Turnovers aided BenU’s slow start and ultimately did them in, as they turned the ball over 20 times compared to Concordia-Wisconsin’s six.
“Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers,” said junior forward Mark Pace. “We turned the ball over way too much too early.”
However, the Eagles would begin to chip away at CUW’s lead throughout the first half. They were able to cut the lead to four by halftime, and eventually took a lead midway through the second half.
“I think they [Concordia-Wisconsin] thought the game was going to be easy when they got up,” said Pace. “That wasn’t the case.”
The Eagles would battle CUW hard, but the Falcons were able to build their lead back up to as much as seven late in the game to give them the win.
Despite the loss, freshman big man Tim McGinty had his best output of the season. He had 18 points, seven rebounds, and shot a perfect 7-7 from the field.
“He [Tim] was very composed, and the crowd tried to get on him,” said junior guard Jamison Montgomery. “The one thing about Tim is he always gives you 100 percent in practice and in games. When he scores 17, we will be hard to beat.”
Also for the Eagles, senior guard Nate Green finished with 14 points, Montgomery added 10 points, and Pace added seven points with a perfect 3-3 from the field and eight rebounds. CUW was led by Doedens (15 points) and senior guard Mitchell Schnieder added 12 points.
With the win, CUW gained the number one overall seed in the Northern Athletics Conference tournament, which begins Tuesday. The Eagles will have the number two seed in the tournament, and will face conference rival Aurora on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Dan and Ada Rice Center. BenU defeated the Spartans in their two previous meetings.
“Every time you play AU, you already know how much it means,” added Montgomery. “It’s tough to beat a team three times in the same year, but we will be ready.”