The Wartburg Men’s Basketball team pulled out a rivalry showdown victory against the Luther Norse on Wednesday, Jan. 15. The Knights comfortably beat the Norse 80-71 in a packed Levick Arena.

Center Jacob Kuhlemeier ’20 led the way with a game-high 18 points and eight rebounds. Guards Max Smith Drahos ’21 and Broden Coulter ’21 added 13 points each. The Knights dominated the rebounding battle and recorded a whopping 17 offensive boards.

The Knights were successfully able to keep a comfortable lead for a majority of the game, but Luther made a final push and cut the difference to two points late in the second half. The Knights surged out of it on a 15-8 run in the final stretch of the game.

“Being a big rivalry game, we all knew coming in that we had to win this game,” Noah May ’23 said. It was a really strong performance from everyone on our team… It was also a great environment to play in because of all the students coming out to support.”

This is the Knights third win in a row and improved to 7-8 overall and 3-3 in American Rivers Conference (A-R-C) play. The team will look to ride the momentum into the A-R-C tournament.

“This should be a really good experience for us,” May said. “As a team, we’re finally finding our stride with three conference wins in a row after a slow start. Obviously we’re playing some tough teams on the road, but we’re taking it one game at a time because we know we have the talent to compete against all the teams on our schedule.”

On Saturday, the Knights’ win streak was snapped in overtime by the Coe KoHawks, 94-92. Ryan Stulken ’20 led Wartburg with 18 points and shot 72.7% from the field. Smith Drahos added six assists and Connor Schult ’20 had four. Five Knights scored in double digits.

The Knights will rematch Luther at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 5, in Decorah.

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