Heichelbech helps Knights run past Rams

NEW ULM — Martin Luther College got off on the right foot as the Knights defeated North Central University 67-59 on Wednesday in a Upper Midwest Athletic Conference men’s basketball game.

MLC played helped its cause by playing good defense from start to finish. The Knights held NCU to 36 percent for the entire contest. The Rams were held to only one 3-point basket in the second half and four throughout the entire game.

Jaxson Kavanagh scored on a 3-point shot. Micha Filer hit a 3-pointer with two straight lay-up baskets for a 29-20 Ram lead. This was a part of NCU’s 16-2 run in the first half.

Nate Lindloff scored on two 3s, Joseph Hirsch had a 3, Josh Tomlin added a 3 for a 29-29 tie. Jack Heichelbech’s 3-point shot gave MLC a 32-31 halftime lead.

NCU’s AJ McGrew’s basket to start the second half game the Rams their final lead of the night.

MLC started to slowly pull away from NUC after that. MLC’s defense stiffened and the Knights managed to block several shots at the basket.

“It was a good defensive effort,” MLC head coach Greg Holzhueter said. “We gave them no chances at getting second shots at the basket. We contested every shot they took.”

Holzhueter said that Ethan Eisenmann played excellent defense on NCU’s Jared High. High, one of the Rams’ best players scored only 9 points.

Austin DeNoyer canned a 3-pointer and Jack Heichelbech hit two baskets and two free throws to lift MLC’s lead to 50-41.

NCU continued to battle back. It tried to use a full-court press to slow down the Knights. Heichelbech scored on two straight possessions. His second one was a slam dunk. Eisenmann dropped in two free throws to ice the win for the Knights.

Heichelbech led MLC with 18 points and seven rebounds. DeNoyer had 14 points. Ian Paulsen had 14 points and seven rebounds. Nate Lindloff added 9 points. Eisenmann had eight rebounds.

Filer scored 20 points and McGrew added 15 points with eight rebounds for the Rams.

MLC (3-4, 1-0) will host Northland on Saturday.

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