MILWAUKEE – The Kern Center was the place to be on the first three-event day of the school year at the facility. While the Hockey team was putting in extra time on offense for a 5-2 victory, the Basketball teams provided the drama upstairs with a pair of comeback wins.
Playing in front of a raucous crowd on hand for National Girls & Women in Sports Day, the Women's team overcame a seven-point deficit with just over four minutes to play to escape with a 62-61 win. Then, the crowd expanded for a first-place showdown between the Men and Aurora, each of which entered the game 9-3 in the league. The Raiders would lead by as many as 10 before facing a nine-point deficit inside the final four minutes. Like the Women before, the Men clicked on all cylinders down the stretch to get the win, 77-74.
Here's what happened...
In the first game of the day, MSOE's Women and the Spartans were tied after each of the first three quarters. What was a 22-22 tie at halftime became 42-42 after the third quarter as the teams started to hit their stride on offense. The Raiders went ahead 50-48 on a three-pointer from Britta Grayvold with 6:57 remaining in the game.
Aurora countered with three-straight three-pointers to open a 57-50 at the 4:43 mark. The comeback started shortly thereafter, as Kaya Barreto hit a layup at 4:02. A one-and-done possession for the visitors led to a Shaylan Reardon layup. Then, three chances with the ball yielded just one free throw for the visitors to make it 58-54. Another Reardon basket was followed by a Jamie Spanbauer steal. A free throw and defensive rebound on the other end set up Kiana Jeremiah for a go-ahead three-pointer at 1:29 to make it 61-60.
The Spartans answered a minute later on Julie Galauner's ninth 3-point of the game for a 61-60 Red & White deficit. Spanbauer came up big again with the go-ahead basket with 19.3 on the clock, before then blocking the ensuing layup at the other end. AU would get two more chances, missing a three-pointer and then failing to get a reasonable shot off as the Raider defense descended on the shooter. Final horn, MSOE 62 and Aurora 61.
Game two looked to be going the Raider Men's way, as the team was slowing down the league's top scoring team. MSOE led 39-35 at halftime and opened a 10-point lead at 47-37 on a pair of Gabe Wear free throws 3:31 into the second half.
The lead was still 60-53 on a Tegan Miles layup at the 10:19 mark when the Spartans fought back. The visitors went on a 19-3 run to open up a 72-63 lead with 3:52 remaining. (Full disclosure: I leaned over to our PA person to point out the parallels between the women's game and where the men's game was as a means to spark optimism. Did it work? I dunno, but it happened... Anyway, back to the game...)
A technical foul after an MSOE turnover at 3:37 proved to be the spark the Raiders needed. Matthew Kirmse converted both free throws and, after a one-and-done possession for AU, Jason Palesse buried a three-pointer. A string of one-and-done possessions continued as Kirmse hit a three and Miles made a go-ahead basket just inside the final minute.
A 13-0 run, with five-straight defensive rebounds, was complete after Nolan Henton hit a free throw and Jake Gebert hit two more with 19 seconds on the clock.
The Spartans would hit a quick layup after an offensive rebound, but a Palesse free throw made it a three-point game once more and they could not get a clean look at the basket in the closing seconds.
MSOE 77, Aurora 74. The Raiders swept the Spartans in the regular season for just the second time (2013-14) and maintained a share of first place in the NACC with Benedictine. What's more, MSOE is in a favorable position with tiebreakers against both AU (2-0) and BenU (1-0).
Around MSOE Athletics…
- Men's Basketball split a pair of games last week but remained in first place in the NACC with a dramatic win over Aurora Saturday.
- Women's Basketball snapped a seven-game losing streak Saturday with a comeback win over Aurora.
- Hockey split a home weekend last weekend, falling to #3/4 Adrian in a hard-fought 3-1 game before breaking out with a 5-2 win over Trine.
- Wrestling lost a dual on Thursday at UW-Oshkosh before routing longtime league rival Lakeland 47-3 on Friday. Helton Vandenbush has now won nine-straight matches and Austin Bellile made his season debut against LU with a win by fall in just 1:05.
- Track & Field each took second at the UW-Parkside Ranger Relays. There were five event winners over the two teams, including four by the women.
Coming Up This Week...
- Men's Basketball (11-6, 10-3 NACC / W1) and Women's Basketball (6-11, 4-8 / W1) each host Marian mid-week before playing a doubleheader at Wisconsin Lutheran Saturday.
- Men's Volleyball opens the 2018 season with a pair of matches, first at Cardinal Stritch Wednesday and then at home Friday against #8 UC Santa Cruz.
- Hockey (9-9-1, 5-7 / W1) is on the road Saturday at Lake Forest and at home to host Aurora Saturday.
- Wrestling heads to the Pete Willson Invitational Friday and Saturday, with a contingent expected to head to the underclassman-only Harper Open Saturday.
- Track & Field runs, jumps, and throws at the Pioneer Open Saturday at UW-Platteville.
|Tuesday||Men's Basketball||Marian*||7:00 PM||Video | Live stats|
|Wednesday||Women's Basketball||Marian*||7:00 PM||Video | Live stats|
|Wednesday||Men's Volleyball||@ Cardinal Stritch||7:00 PM||Live Stats|
|Friday||Wrestling||@ Pete Willson Invitational||11:00 AM|
|Friday||Men's Volleyball||UC Santa Cruz||7:00 PM||Live stats | Video|
|Friday||Hockey||@ Lake Forest*||7:30 PM||Video | Live stats | Audio|
|Saturday||Track & Field (M/W)||@ Pioneer Open||All Day|
|Saturday||Wrestling||@ Harper Open||9:00 AM|
|Saturday||Wrestling||@ Pete Willson Invitational||9:00 AM|
|Saturday||Men's Basketball||@ Wisconsin Lutheran*||1:00 PM||Video | Live stats|
|Saturday||Women's Basketball||@ Wisconsin Lutheran*||3:15 PM||Video | Live stats|
|Saturday||Hockey||Aurora*||7:00 PM||Video | Live stats|
|* Conference Contest | Home Contests in BOLD|