Men Top Saints in Overtime Thriller
NEW ULM, Minn. - The MLC men's basketball team needed an extra five minutes, but was able to win a big game for their conference tournament hopes Friday against St. Scholastica by a score of 92-85 in overtime.
The Saints, who led the Knights by two games for the fourth and final spot in the conference tournament heading into the game, erased a 12-point MLC second half lead to force overtime when Logan Schultz made two free throws to tie the game with nine seconds to play in regulation.
In the overtime, the Knights received help from the Saints at the foul line, as CSS went just 3-11 from the charity stripe in the extra period. Greg Holzhueter scored six of his game-high 24 points in the overtime, including a big three-pointer that gave MLC an 85-84 lead in the extra period with just over two minutes to play.
The Knights built the lead early in the game with an efficient offense, turning the ball over just seven times in the game, and shooting 45.7 percent from the field. They also went 11-24 from beyond the three-point line.
Kaleb Buch provided a big lift for the Knights off the bench, scoring 14 points on 4-6 shooting from the field (and 4-5 shooting from beyond the arc) in just 13 minutes of action. Galen Holzhueter battled foul trouble early to finish with 14 points, while Nate Bauer finished with 11 points, seven assists and seven rebounds. Greg Holzhueter also had seven assists and seven rebounds to go with his 24 points.
Both teams struggled to rebound on the defensive end, but the Saints were able to use the offensive glass particularly well for 16 second chance points in the second half alone. All five starters for St. Scholastica finished in double figures, led by Danny Schmitz's 19 points. Logan Schultz had 16 points and 15 rebounds for CSS.
With the win, MLC improved to 6-14 on the season, and 5-6 in the UMAC, while St. Scholastica dropped to 9-13 overall and 6-5 in league play.
MLC will return to action tomorrow (Friday, February 12), when it hosts Northland in a double header of men's and women's basketball starting at 3 p.m. The men's game will start around 5 p.m.