Big run lifts MLC men past Northland

Information courtesy of MLC Athletics

Men’s basketball

MLC 70, Northland 58

ASHLAND, Wis. — The Martin Luther College men’s basketball team went on a 17-0 run early in the second half and never looked back on the way to a 70-58 win at Northland College on Sunday in Upper Midwest Athletic Conference action.

The two teams traded the lead several times in the first half, but the Lumberjacks emerged with a 36-34 lead heading into halftime and then scored the first three points of the second half.

MLC would take control from there, however, scoring 17 unanswered points and holding Northland scoreless for more than six minutes to take a 51-39 lead.

The Knights built the lead as big as 14 points (58-44), but Northland fought its way back into the game and cut its deficit to 60-55 with 4:25 to play. MLC responded with a 10-3 run to finish the game to secure its first win of the UMAC season.

Defense was big for the Knights in the second half as they held Northland to just 33.3% shooting while forcing 14 Lumberjack turnovers. For the game, Northland shot 39.6 percent from the field and committed 22 turnovers, 15 of which were MLC steals.

Austin DeNoyer led the way for MLC with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. Micah Kieselhorst added 10 points and three steals off the bench, while Ian Paulsen led the team with four steals to go with nine points and seven rebounds. Ethan Eisenmann grabbed a team-high nine rebounds, and Josh Tomlin dished out a team-best five assists.

MLC improved to 4-11 on the season and 1-6 in UMAC play with the win. The Knights will return home to host Minnesota Morris on Wednesday in a game scheduled to tip off at 5:30 p.m.

Women’s basketball

Northland 84, MLC 70

ASHLAND, Wis. — The MLC women’s basketball team came back from a slow start, but could not overcome a bad fourth quarter in an 84-70 loss at Northland College on Sunday.

The LumberJills raced to a fast start and finished the first quarter with a 26-15 lead, but MLC would return the favor over the next two quarters. The Knights outscored Northland 19-9 in the second quarter to trail only 35-34 at halftime, and then took a 52-51 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Northland took control from there, forcing nine MLC turnovers in the final period while also shooting 61.1% (11-of-18) from the field and 10-14 from the free throw line as it out-scored the Knights 33-18 over the final 10 minutes on the way to the win.

Emily Witkowski led three MLC players in double figures with 20 points on 6-13 shooting from the field (7-of-8 from the free throw line). Samantha Paul added a career-high 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for her first career double-double. Emily Rothfuss made all five of her field goal attempts on her way to 10 points and six rebounds.

MLC fell to 1-14 on the season and 1-6 in UMAC play in defeat. Northland improved to 4-10 overall and 2-5 in league play with the win.

The Knights will return home to host Minnesota Morris on Wednesday, January 22, with the opening tip of that game scheduled for 7:15 p.m.