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Waldorf drops road loss to Cardinal Stritch

By Aaron Schneider

MILWAUKEE – The Waldorf College men’s basketball team was hampered by cold shooting and turnovers while dropping a 75-51 loss to Cardinal Stritch University on Saturday.

The Wolves (1-1) shot 49.2 percent, going 30-of-61 from the field while the Warriors (1-1) converted only 17-of-52 attempts from the floor. Cardinal Stritch established its presence down low, outscoring the Warriors 34-10 in the paint.

The Wolves entered the night receiving votes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II preseason poll.

“They played good defense, but we missed a lot of bunnies,” Waldorf coach Nigel Jenkins said. “We rushed our shots and second-chance opportunities.”

Despite collecting 13 offensive rebounds and a 16-9 advantage in second-chance points, the Warriors had trouble settling in on offense. Cardinal Stritch also held a 21-10 advantage in points off turnovers.

“We just didn’t take our time and finish the plays,” Jenkins said. “It was that type of night.”

The Wolves were led by Brandon Moore with 16 points and four assists. Matt Reinke and Billy Kirby also scored in double figures with 15 and 12 points, respectively. Tyler Semenas grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

Senior Erik Brewer scored a game-high 18 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked three shots for the Warriors. Sophomore Kaimen Slay added 17 points.

Waldorf junior Pierre Roddy closed out the night with six points, seven rebounds and two assists. Junior Michael Morgan provided five points and sophomore Kaden Verdin turned in three points and a team-high eight rebounds to lead the Warriors to a 41-33 advantage on the boards. Junior Tyler Parrish contributed two points and seven rebounds.

Cardinal Stritch went 10-of-21 (47.6 percent) from 3-point range. Alex Oldenburg contributed to those totals by earning his nine points, shooting 3-for-4 behind the arc. Waldorf lacked defensive intensity and the Wolves cashed in.

“We didn’t bring it, especially on the defensive end,” Jenkins said. “I thought with us missing those bunnies and the ball not going in the basket, I think that dictated our defense. We gave up a lot of easy points.”

Waldorf connected on 8-of-19 (42.1 percent) attempts from downtown. They went 9-of-16 (56.3 percent) from the free-throw line and Cardinal Stritch converted on 5-of-10 (50 percent) shots from the charity stripe.

The Wolves committed just 10 turnovers while the Warriors turned the ball over 21 times.

“We’ll be better,” Jenkins said. “It’s early in the year. I have all of the faith in the world in this team.”

It wasn’t the finish Waldorf had hoped for in its first road test of the season, but facing a tough opponent will benefit the Warriors moving forward.

“It’s a good experience for us for our first road trip to be against a very tough team,” Jenkins said. “They’re going to be pretty good. They’re going to make some noise and they’re receiving votes in the top 25 for a reason.”

Waldorf continues the season against NCAA Division II opponent University of Minnesota-Crookston (1-1) on Friday at 7 p.m.

“Playing a Division II team at home for the first time in school history will be a lot of fun,” Jenkins said.

The matchup marks the season opener for the Eagles, who are members of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). Returning to practice this week, the Warriors look to hit it hard as they prepare to defend their home court at Hanson Fieldhouse.

“Obviously, our goal every year is to be undefeated at home and try to protect our home court. If we can do that, we’ll have a successful year,” Jenkins said. “It will be a tough challenge for us, but I think this team is up for it. We’ve got to have a great week of practice in order to do that.”