MLC women pick up first victory of the season

Women’s basketball

ST. BONIFACIUS — The Martin Luther College women’s basketball team broke into the win column with a 63-55 victory at Crown College on Wednesday.

The game was ugly to start for the Knights as the Storm built a 17-6 lead after one quarter, but MLC opened the second quarter with a 12-0 run to erase the deficit and trailed by only one point (33-32) heading into halftime.

After scoring 26 points in the second quarter, the MLC defense started to take over in the second half, holding Crown to just 7-30 shooting (23.3 percent) overall and 0-8 from beyond the 3-point arc in the final two quarters.

The game was still tight heading down the stretch, with the Knights clinging to a 56-53 lead with 3:32 to play, but Emily Witkowski and Cassandra Rose combined for seven straight points in the final minutes to secure the 8-point win.

Witkowski finished as the Knights’ leading scorer with 19 points to go with five assists. Gosch and Behnke joined her in double figures with 11 points apiece, while Emily Rothfuss and Kati Aguilar each recorded a pair of blocks.

MLC improved to 1-13 on the season and 1-5 in UMAC play with the win. Crown fell to 4-10 overall and 1-6 in league play in defeat.

Men’s basketball

ST. BONIFACIUS — The MLC men’s basketball team suffered a tough defeat in the final minute by the score of 73-71 at Crown College on Wednesday.

It was a game of runs for both teams, as the Storm broke free early to a 27-20 lead, but MLC responded with a 17-2 run late in the half on the way to a 37-33 lead at the break.

Crown took control early in the second half and built a 64-56 lead with under eight minutes to play, but the Knights once again fought back with a 14-4 run and took 70-68 lead on a Jack Heichelbech lay-up with 1:27 to play in the game.

After Ian Paulsen pushed the MLC lead to 71-68 on a free throw with 1:11 to play, the Storm made five of six free throw attempts in the final minute to take a two-point lead. MLC had one final chance with one second to play, but a full court inbounds pass was tipped and the Knights were unable to get a final shot off at the buzzer.

Four MLC players finished in double figures, led by Heichelbech, Paulsen and Austin DeNoyer with 14 points apiece. Jacob Price and Joseph Hirsch added 11 and nine points, respectively, off the bench.

MLC fell to 3-11 on the season and 0-6 in UMAC play in defeat. The Knights will return to action on Sunday when they travel to Northland College for a game scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m.