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The Lakeland College women's basketball team (1-1) rebounded from a tough loss to Milwaukee School of Engineering yesterday to knock out MacMurray College, 69-39, in the consolation game of Lakeland's "Play with Grace" Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 18.
After a bit of a slow start, a jumper by senior forward Danielle Duranceau sparked a 13-0 scoring run by the Muskies in the middle of the first half to put the squad up, 23-8, with under nine minutes remaining in the first half.
Although senior forward Jenna Boehm was limited to four points in the first half due to foul trouble, she recovered in the second half to finish with a team-high 13 points, also dishing out three assists.
Her two-day total of 29 points and eight rebounds earned her a spot on the All-Tournament Team.
The Muskies' trio of talented starting freshman guards also produced a strong showing, with Brittanie Paulus tallying nine points, four steals and three assists and KC Blahnik sinking two of three from beyond the arc for six of her eight points.
"I would say that our guard play was a lot better," said head coach April Arvan. "Our young kids looked to score, took care of the basketball and had seven steals between the three of them.
"In the minutes they played, I definitely thought they were more of an offensive threat than yesterday."
Arvan was also pleased with the effort of her experienced guards, as well as the team's play in the post.
"I thought that Amanda (Thielmann) did a better job today as well as Brenda Paulson of doing the little things we need them to do off the bench," she said.
Although Duranceau was held to four points for the game, she and Blahnik led the team in rebounds with five apiece.
"Danielle came from taking a test for her education major this morning, so she got here about 15 minutes before tip-off," Arvan explained. "Her focus may not have been there completely, however, she's the type of kid who can always do the little things right for us. In her 27 minutes she did exactly what we wanted her to do."
With the Muskies quickly drawing away from the Highlanders, building a lead as high as 30 points with less than five minutes to go in the second half thanks in part to shooting 43 percent as a team for the game, Lakeland had the luxury of playing almost their full roster.
"I thought all of the freshmen held their own, especially Emily Agner playing 14 minutes and having nine points," Arvan said. "It was nice to get (Kim) Linger, DeAnna (Rettschlag) and all of our freshmen some minutes so we can get a good look at what they look like in college play."
The Muskies held MacMurray to a 31 percent field goal average for the game and forced 30 turnovers to their 13.
Lakeland's next game against a perennially strong Elmhurst College squad on Tuesday, Nov. 21, could be a tough match-up.
"I don't think the way we played Friday and Saturday combined prepares us for Tuesday's game," Arvan said. "We need to buckle down again tomorrow in practice, but I really think their effort is there. I love coaching these kids because I think they have great mentality, but we're working hard to get them to come around a little more."
Game time is set for 7 p.m. in Elmhurst, Ill.