IRONWOOD, TOWNSHIP, Mi. Freshman Kaleb Kirksey and junior Dylan Underwood had double-doubles as the Finlandia University men’s basketball team (0-15) lost 74-68 to Gogebic (4-11), Wednesday night at the Lundquist Center.
The first four minutes was a tight affair. Sophomore Joe Heinonen hit the 3-point bullseye to make it 7-7 at the 16:00 mark. Gogebic tried to put the game away early with a 19-5 run.
The Samsons led 26-12 with 8:38 to go before Finlandia started coming back. Sophomore River Shumate knocked down a triple to end a run of 12 straight points.
Now with 4:11 to go, the Lions were down only two. FinnU stayed three to five points behind Gogebic the rest of the half.
In the second half, the Samsons went up six with three minutes gone. Sophomore Tristan Johnston unleashed the trey missile and Kirksey drove the lane for a bucket. That cut the gap to 42-41 with 16:43 left.
Gogebic went back up by 11 with 12:56 to go and fought to hold Finlandia off. Down 11 with 5:04 to go, the Lions chipped away. Underwood hit a fast break lay-up to make it 73-68 with 19 seconds left. That was as close as they could get.
The Lions pulled down 55 rebounds with an edge of 36 defensive to just 13 offensive for Gogebic. FinnU also held the Samsons to shooting 34.3% from the floor and 23.8% from behind the arc.
For Finlandia, Underwood had 17 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds while Kirksey had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Heinonen had 10 points, nine rebounds and blocked five shots.
For Gogebic, Raquentez Woodley had 20 points and Mitchell Borseth had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Finlandia returns home, Sunday, Jan. 12 hosting Holy Family College. The game is scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m.