MARINETTE — Levi Kempka (Menominee) led the UWGB-Marinette men’s basketball team to its seventh consecutive win on Wednesday.

Kempka scored a game-high 24 points, including 15 in the second half, helping the Buccaneers to a 74-58 win over UW-Fond du Lac in their final game of the calendar year. While Kempka ended as the leading scorer, Preston Lauscher (Carney-Nadeau) led the Buccaneers in the first half.

He scored 10 of his 16 points before halftime, sinking five shots from the floor while Kempka scored nine. The duo’s first-half point total (19) was two possessions from matching, if not surpassing, the Falcons’ first-half team total (24).

“We started much better tonight than we have in the past couple games,” Marinette coach Bryan Wickstrom said. “We saw a zone defense for the first time in quite a few games so we were a little hesitant in the first half with offensive opportunities.”

The opportunities were more elusive for the Falcons, who were the latest victim of the Marinette defense. This was the third time this season the Buccaneers have limited an opponent to less than 60 points in a game.

“That is remarkable at this level,” Wickstrom said. “We are definitely a defensive-minded team.”

Marinette entered halftime with a 32-24 lead and though Fond du Lac increased its scoring in the second half, so did the Buccaneers. They scored 42 second-half points with Kempka providing outside scoring by sinking three 3-pointers. Lauscher and Cam Willemsen had six points each in the second half.

Jayln Williams, who led the Falcons with 10 points in the first half, was held to six points in the second half. Ellis Butler finished as Fond du Lac’s leading scorer, with 16 of his 20 points coming in the second half.

“In the second half, a lot of players knocked-down some good shots,” Wickstrom said.

The Buccaneers enter 2019 with an 8-2 overall record and have at least a share of the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference lead with a 7-1 in-conference mark. They return on Jan. 4 at UW-Rock County.