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Luther dropped a hard fought 78-72 overtime decision to Williams College (MA) in the second of two semifinals of the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans tournament hosted by California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Williams saw a 14-point advantage in the first half reduced to six and led 40-34 at halftime. The Norse knotted things up at 42-42 early in the second stanza and the teams were never separated by more than seven points throughout the remaining 17:30. That lead for Williams came with just over five minutes in regulation, but the Norse chipped away and battled back to a 66-66 tie forcing overtime.
The extra frame belonged to the Ephs who doubled up the Norse 12-6 for the win.
Tyler Wedemeier led a balanced Norse attack producing his fifth double-double of the season. Wedemeier tallied 17 points and 12 rebounds, and was also credited with grabbing three of the nine Norse steals and three blocked shots. Cale Austin scored a career high 11 points, while John Androus and Zach Matos-Pritchard finished with 10 apiece. Aaron Huber and Michael Crocker were one bucket away from double digits with eight each.
The Norse shot 40.6 percent from the field that included nearly an identical 40.7 percent from long range. The Norse also held a 37-32 advantage on the glass. The difference was a 19-9 advantage by the Ephs at the charity stripe.
The Ephs Taylor Epley led all scorers with 26 points. He was joined by James Klemm and Michael Mayer with 17 and 14 points respectively. Williams combined to shoot 52.1 percent from the floor, going 45.0 percent from behind the arc, while converting 76 percent of their free-throws.
The loss drops Luther's overall record to 6-4. Williams improved to 9-1.
Tomorrow, Luther will face Northland College (0-7) in the consolation game that will begin at 6:00 p.m. Northland was defeated by host Cal Lutheran 75-59. The championship game will foll. Live video and Live stats will be available for both games.
Questions? Contact David Blanchard, post_to_results, 563-387-1586