MADISON, Wis. – Mixed emotions filled the Todd Wehr Edgedome on Tuesday's Senior Night and the Edgewood College men's basketball team used that energy to fight MSOE down to the wire. A packed house witnessed five ties and 11 lead changes, but it was the Raiders who edged the Eagles 63-58 in Edgewood College's season finale.
With just under four minutes to play, the Eagles found themselves down five before Joe Klocekdrained a three at the 2:54 mark. After Edgewood College forced a missed layup by MSOE,Cashton Craig drilled a cold-blooded three that erupted the Edgedome and put the Eagles up by one. Clinging to a one-point lead, the Eagles pressured the Raiders, but committed a foul to send MSOE's Victor Bande to the line. Bande hit one of two and then MSOE forced an Eagle turnover on the ensuing possession to take over with 1:35 to go.
The Raiders' Jeremiah Erdmann then quieted the crowd with a triple, but still plenty of time remained. Edgewood College got off two shots, but neither connected and the Eagles were forced to foul after MSOE grabbed the rebound. The Raiders' Austin Stueck then sank two free throws to push the Eagles' deficit to five and diminish a chance for a comeback.
The Eagles started the game quick and held a 19-12 lead through the first 10 minutes, but then hit a cold streak. Edgewood College went 7:51 without a single point but also played good defense to keep MSOE in check. During their drought, the Eagles held the Raiders to only five points in just under seven minutes. Trevor Neale broke the streak with a bucket at 1:58 to tie the game at 21 before Klocek knocked down a three-pointer to give Edgewood College a 24-21 advantage. With just under one minute to play, MSOE's Stueck converted an and-one to tie the score heading into the locker room.
The Eagles shot 37.0 percent in the first half, but then turned up the heat in the second, converting 43.3 percent of their baskets. For the first time in 12 games, Edgewood College attempted less than 10 free throws, hitting five of six from the charity stripe. The Eagles only had eight turnovers and again got a strong performance from their bench, outscoring MSOE 25-5 in that category.
Seniors Craig, Michael Janusek, Travis Schaaf, and Luke Thein were all honored on Tuesday night and each played key roles in the close contest. Craig poured in 10 points and dished out a team-high five assists while Janusek hit a timely three-pointer and grabbed two rebounds. Schaaf ran point for the majority of the game and contributed with a basket, four rebounds and an assist while Thein was aggressive all night, snagging three boards and cashing in four points.
Three Eagles hit double figures with Klocek's 14 points leading the way. Rusch added 13 which was followed by Craig's 10.Justin Williams came off the bench to add six points and grab a team-high six rebounds.
Four of MSOE's five starters hit double figures with Stueck and Bande leading the way, pouring in 17 and 15, respectively.
Edgewood College concludes their season with an overall record of 7-18 and a 6-10 mark in the Northern Athletics Conference.