MLC men roll past University Minnesota-Morris

Men’s basketball

MLC 73, UM-Morris 54

The Martin Luther College men’s basketball team rolled to a 73-54 win over Minnesota Morris on Wednesday in Upper Midwest Athletic Conference action.

The Knights controlled the game throughout, and led for the final 37 minutes of play. After taking a 6-5 lead with 17:18 left in the first half, MLC put the Cougars on their heels with an 18-4 run over the next 10 minutes.

The Knights held UMM to only one field goal during that stretch on the way to building a 38-19 halftime lead.

The Cougars tried to make a run in the second half, but the Knights found the answers when they needed to stop the Cougars from ever cutting the lead closer than 13 points the rest of the game.

MLC shot 53.1 percent in the first half and 50.9 percent for the game, but it was the Knights’ stifling defense that gave the Cougars fits. MLC held UMM to 30.8 percent shooting in the first half and 32.2 percent for the game. The Cougars also made only three of 23 attempts from beyond the three-point arc.

The Knights found the range from distance on offense by making 8-of-17 attempts. Austin DeNoyer and Richard Eckmann each made three from downtown.

DeNoyer led the way off the bench for the Knights with 19 points, and also played a key role (along with Nate Goelzer) in frustrating UMM’s leading scorer Noah Grove into only 11 points on the night.

Eckmann finished with 15 points on the night, while Jack Heichelbech added 14 points and six rebounds.

MLC improved to 7-15 on the season and 4-10 in the UMAC with the win. UMM fell to 8-14 overall and 5-8 in league play in defeat.

The Knights will return to action on Saturday when they travel to Maranatha Baptist in a game scheduled to tip off at 3 p.m.

Women’s basketball

UM-Morris 75, MLC 38

The Martin Luther College women’s basketball team couldn’t slow down the Cougars of University of Minnesota Morris in a 75-38 UMAC loss on Wednesday.

The Cougars took the lead early and never relinquished it, outscoring the Knights 22-9 in the first quarter and outscoring MLC in each of the four periods on the way to the win.

UMM shot 45.0 percent from the field thanks to a strong game in the paint. MLC had no answer inside for Abby Van Kempen and Kendra Raths, who combined for 43 points on 15-26 shooting from the floor.

The Knights held the Cougars to 1-of-16 from beyond the 3-point arc, but shot just 26 percent from the field on the offensive end.

Cassandra Rose led MLC with a career-high 17 points and five rebounds. Emily Witkowski added nine points, while Samantha Paul led the team with seven rebounds.

MLC fell to 1-21 on the season and 1-13 in UMAC play in defeat. UMM improved to 14-8 overall and 10-3 in league play with the win.

The Knights will return to action on Saturday when they travel to Maranatha Baptist for a game scheduled to tip off at 1 p.m.