Lions men earn split on road with win over Knights
Finlandia crowns the Knights
NEW ULM, Minn. — It was a nail bitter as the Finlandia University men’s basketball team (2-3) beat Martin Luther (0-5) 94-91, Saturday afternoon at LSC Gymnasium. It was the first win over MLC since Feb. 10, 2017.
Martin Luther came out strong and led 16-8 at the 14:04 mark. Finlandia came back with a 15-7 run. Junior Danny Zuchak hit a layup to tie the game at 23-23 with 9:48 to go.
The Lions pushed the lead to 37-28 at the 5:01 mark. The Knights came back closing on a 16-5 burst to lead 44-42 at the break.
In the second half, FinnU got up by nine or more points several times; only to see Martin Luther charge back. Junior Ilrick Higgins-Moise slammed the ball home to put Finlandia up 89-78 with 2:07 left.
Once again, the Knights refused to quit and scored with three seconds left to make it 92-91. MLC fouled freshman John Schutz and he hit both free throws to seal the win.
Defense was a huge key for FinnU. They pulled down 27 defensive rebounds to just 10 offensive for the Knights. The Lions forced 27 turnovers and scored 36 points off of them.
For Finlandia, Zuchak had 23 points, three steals and shot 7-of-11 from the floor while Higgins-Moise had 10 points, nine rebounds and four steals. Off the bench, junior Manuel Mata had 16 points with four triples and Schutz scored 11 points with three treys.
For Martin Luther, Micah Kieselhorst had 24 points, nine rebounds and blocked four shots while Seth Veers scored 22 points.
Lions fall in polar storm
SAINT BONIFACIUS, Minn. – Three players scored in double figures as the Finlandia University men’s basketball team fell 92-75 to Crown (4-1), Friday night at the Athletic Center.
The first half resembled a roller coaster ride. Crown scored the first seven points of the game to lead at the 16:27 mark. Sophomore Davin Hill hit a jumper to start Finlandia rolling.
Zuchak hit a tough shot in the paint to end a 18-7 run. That put the Lions up 20-14 with 11:43 to go.
The Polars reeled off 15 straight points to lead 29-20 at the 7:08 mark. FinnU began to chip away and sophomore Devin Schieble hit a bucket to make it 39-38, Crown with 55 seconds left in the half.
The Polars scored the last four points to lead by five at the break. Finlandia was down five, 47-42 at the 18:25 mark of the second half. Crown scored eight straight points and the Lions could get no closer than seven the rest of the way.
The Lions shot 46% on field goals and were hot from behind the arc (8-of-16 for 50%). FinnU kept the Polars to just 20% on triples (5-of-25).
For Finlandia, junior Ilrick Higgins-Moise had 12 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Off the bench, Schieble had 13 points with two treys and Hill had 11 points and knocked down three 3-pointers.
For Crown, Seth Royston had 25 points and nine rebounds.
Finlandia ventures to Wisconsin, Wednesday, Nov. 23, playing Wisconsin-River Falls. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.