Lions fall to MSOE

HANCOCK – A long season for the Finlandia University men’s basketball team grew a little bit longer Saturday afternoon at Paavo Numri Gym.

Milwukee School of Engineering inflicted an 82-65 defeat on the Lions, dominating just about every phase.

“Give MSOE credit,” Finlandia coach Terry Smith said afterward. “They did a great job. They played well, they played hard and they hustled. They deserved to win.”

The outcome left the Blue and White with a 1-13 record, while the Raiders improved to 10-4.

At first glance, the final score would indicate a closer game. But the Lions made it look better by nailing five straight three-point baskets down the stretch – two of those by Houghton High product Matt Strong.

“If we had a bright spot in those game, it was the outside shooting of Matt Strong and Craig Raasio,” Smith noted.

Strong managed nine points on three treys, while Hancock native Raasio put in five points and hit a triple.

The invaders stormed out to a 13-5 edge after just four minutes.

Allente Denson hit a pair of treys to get FU within 28-21 later in the opening half.

But the eventual winners sprinted to a 45-23 bulge at the intermission by using their superior balance.

In all, 17 players saw action for the Milwaukee-based club, and all but four registered points.

MSOE coach Brian Miller said the fast start by his team enabled him to subsititute in waves.

“When you can get a little lead right away … you can do that,” Miller said. “I thought they (Lions) played well at the beginning. But I think our depth wore them down as the game progressed.”

One telling stat was the commanding 53-27 margin the Raiders held on the boards.

The MSOE advantage grew to as much as 73-41 in the second half.

Jon Moore was the high point man for FU with 13, while Dylan Schroeder tossed in a dozen more. Strong was next in line with nine and Keith Arnold had eight points and three steals.

Victor Bande paced MSOE with 12 points. Austin Stueck managed 11 points and a team-high 10 boards and John Cording and Connor Patterson divided 20 more.

The Lions travel to Silver Lake College Monday in their next action.