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Sophomore Justin Ward hit a free throw with 10.8 left on the clock to take a 69-68 lead, but Concordia University Wisconsin slipped past the Lakeland College men's basketball team when Luke Doedens hit a pair of free throws with 2.0 left to give the Falcons a 70-69 Northern Athletics Conference victory.
It was a rugged, back-and-forth battle between the Muskies (11-4, 5-2 NAC) and the Falcons (11-3, 7-1 NAC), including 14 lead changes and eight ties. Neither team led by more than 10, with the Falcons taking a nine-point lead at the 12:51 mark in the second half.
After being down 9-3 early in the first half, Lakeland went on an 8-0 run midway through the first half and took a one-point, 18-17 lead when junior Jake Schwarz hit a jumper. The Muskies and the Falcons went up and down before eventually settling on a 26-26 score heading into the locker room.
Ward opened the second half with a dunk, but Concordia, Wis., went on a 10-3 run to take a nine-point lead. Lakeland answered with a 12-3 run to tie the game at 49 when senior Josh Regal hit a free throw. The Falcons shot 51.5 percent from the field in the half to stay atop the NAC North Division.
Defensively, Concordia, Wis., held Lakeland, who is eighth in the nation in scoring offense (88.9), to just 69 points and 35.6 percent from the field, including 26.9 percent from 3-point range. The Falcons also held Schwarz (Sheboygan), who is fourth in the nation in points per game (26.3) and leads the NAC in scoring, to just nine points.
Ward (Wisconsin Dells) finished the night with double-double, including a game-high 28 points and 10 rebounds on 11-for-20 shooting. Regal (Suring) finished with 12 points and seven assists.
The Muskies return to NAC action Thursday as they host Wisconsin Lutheran College in a 7 p.m. tip in Woltzen Gym.