MILWAUKEE, WI – The men’s basketball team held a four-point lead halfway through the first period, powered by freshmen Brady Moses (Lodi, WI), and center Zach Terpstra (Barron, WI), who had 13, and 8 points in the first half, but the Wisconsin Lutheran Warriors locked down both players in the second half, and had a better shooting performance to down Maranatha, 94-74 on Thursday night.
Prior to the second half, the Warriors had a tough time containing either Terpstra, or Moses, and after falling behind 8-2 in the opening minutes, freshman guard David Wenthold (Geneseo, IL) hit a three, kick starting a 9-3 run to tie the game at 11-all.
Wisconsin grabbed the lead back, at 13-11, but Moses came right back with a three-pointer to grab the team’s first lead, 14-13 at 12:26 remaining.
Senior guard Andrew McKinney (St. Charles, IA) got in on the action as well, driving for a layup that bumped the lead up to 18-15, a minute later.
Over the next few minutes, Maranatha held slim margins that were continually cut into by the home team, their largest lead, four points, coming on an and-one by Moses, for a 23-19 lead, with 9:37 on the clock.
But no less than a minute later, the Warriors’ DJ Escamilla drove to the hoop to even the game for the fourth time, and a three put Wisconsin Lutheran up, 26-25.
Neither team scored for the next two minutes, until Nate Siemers went to the line, converting both shots, and despite Maranatha making 48% of their shots from the field, the Warriors held an edge on offensive boards, and second-chance points, at 12-6 in the first half, for a 47-40 halftime lead.
Wisconsin Lutheran stepped up their game in the second half by shooting 50% from both the field, and beyond the arc, and went 73% from the free throw line. The home team held a 19-1 advantage in points off turnovers, and were led by Kyle Stelse, and Jake Jarnigo on offense. Jarnigo hit all three attempts from beyond the arc, while Stelse had 10 points.
Senior Kyle Kutz (Cambridge, WI) led the way in the second half, with eight points, finishing the night with 11, while chipping in two blocks, two steals and two assists in 23 minutes.
Maranatha will host the Tigers, of Grace Bible College, on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in Watertown. Grace is currently ranked #4 in the NCCAA DII.