PLYMOUTH, Wisconsin – The MSOE men's basketball team overcame a 13-point first-half deficit and outscored Lakeland 53-34 in the second half on the way to a 96-84 victory Saturday afternoon at Woltzen Gymnasium.
The Raiders (10-1, 5-1 NACC) prevailed against the Muskies (6-5, 4-2 NACC) in a matchup of two of the three teams tied for first place in the conference standings.
Senior Jason Palesse led the charge with 24 points, scoring 14 after halftime, to go with seven assists and three steals. He shot 7-for-9 from the field and a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line. Junior Matthew Kirmse had 20 points and eight rebounds while junior Jake Gebert notched 17 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks.
Freshman Michael Pitrof rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points off the bench.
All five Lakeland starters scored in double-figures, led by Jequan Pegeese's 18. Garrett Duffin and Zach Hasenstein each scored 14 points and Shakur Jinad and Eric Nygaard had 11 points apiece.
The Red & White got off to a slow start. The team went nearly four minutes without a field goal while the Muskies went on a 15-2 run to open a 19-6 lead at the 14:31 mark of the opening half. The Raiders responded with 10-straight points to pull within 19-16 exactly two minutes later.
The scored was tighter throughout the half, with MSOE last leading at 40-39. Lakeland then closed out the half on an 11-2 run to take a 50-42 into halftime. The hosts then scored the first four points of the second half for a 54-42 lead.
Once again, the Red & White responded. Trailing 58-46, the Raiders went on a six-minute, 19-3 run to seize a 65-61 lead on sophomore Bailey McDaniel's three-pointer with 9:15 remaining in regulation. It was a lead MSOE would not relinquish. It expanded its advantage to 12 points with 12-straight made free throws over the final 1:03 to clinch the game.
The Raiders shot over 51 percent in the second half on their way to a 46.5 percent clip for the day. They pounded the ball inside, attempting just 10 three-pointers in the game (making four), and outscored the Muskies 48-18 on points in the paint. MSOE also got to the free throw line, making 26 for an 83.9 percent clip.
Lakeland finished the game shooting 41.8 percent from the field, including 16-for-35 from beyond the arc. The hosts also made just 12-of-22 free throw attempts.
The Raiders return to the court in two weeks, hosting Benedictine.