ST. PAUL, Minn. – March is the month known for tense moments and incredible comebacks, not November. And yet MSOE found themselves in a situation that called for something special to push them past Northwestern St. Paul. How about a four-point play? Michael Pitrof gave them one with four seconds left for the one-point opening night victory.
MSOE – 76
Northwestern (Minn.) – 75
HOW IT HAPPENED
MSOE (1-0) did not shoot lights out this evening, so other facets of their game were going to have to step up to win against the hosting Northwestern St. Paul Eagles (0-1). The Raiders only shot 36.5 percent from the field and just 31.6 from behind the arc, but they excelled from the charity stripe. They went 16-19, good for an 84.2 percentage. The Eagles on the other hand shot 46.9 percent for the game, but a disciplined Red & White defense limited their chances at free buckets. NSP made just five of their 12 shots at the line, giving the Raiders a +11 in point differential in that category. It was also a game without a lot of big runs. The largest lead MSOE had in the first half was nine points but trailed by as much as 11 in the second. This is where the theatrics come in. With 26 seconds left and the Raiders down by 6, Michael Pitrof hit a three pointer to cut the lead down to three. After a missed 1-and-1 attempt for the Eagles, a Noah Blue defensive rebound set Pitrof up for another tray, but this time he was fouled going up. Northwestern tried to freeze Pitrof with a timeout but he went on to covert the free throw to complete the seven point Raider run to give MSOE the single point victory to open the season.
WHO'S ON DECK
The men will be right back at it tomorrow afternoon, taking on North Central (Minn.) in the second game of the NACC/UMAC Challenge starting at 3:00 pm.