Lakeland Falls to Aurora 101-94 Despite Rogers
Athletics - posted on 12/2/2006
The Lakeland Muskies opened their first Northern Athletics Conference game with a 101-94 loss to pre-season conference favorite Aurora University on Saturday, Dec. 2, in the Moose and Dona Woltzen Gymnasium at Lakeland College.
Lakeland is now 0-3 overall, 0-1 in the NAC, while the Spartans improve to 4-0 overall, 1-0 in conference play.
"They are just a very good team," said Lakeland head coach Kyle Brumett. "They have the best two players in the conference, Larry Welton and Darrick Leonard, and they definitely put it on us. We had a hard time guarding them one-on-one and they had a hard time guarding Matt (Rogers)."
Rogers, a sophomore would have stellar game, leading the Muskies offensively with 31 points in 27 minutes. That is the highest amount of points scored by a Muskie since Jan. 3, 2005 when Kris Saiberlich had 33 points against Concordia University Wisconsin. Rogers went 17-19 from the free-throw line and was 7-13 from the field.
Two juniors, Kris Saiberlich and Danny Ehnert, also played a key role for the Muskies. Saiberlich had 18 points, while Ehnert grabbed 10 boards and 11 points.
Freshman Phil Sontag also had a couple of big 3-point shots for the Muskies and was the Muskies best defender.
"Phil was clearly our best defender," said Brumett. "He did a great job defending a couple of their better players."
The Muskies tallied 34 defensive rebounds, however the Spartans had 14 offensive rebounds which translated to more baskets.
Offensively, the Muskies were 26-59 from the field, while the Spartans were 32-77.
"We did better rebounding, but they had 14 offensive rebounds that led to a lot of baskets," said Brumett. "They also had 18 more shots than us. There is no way you are going to win a basketball game when the other team has that many more chances."
The Muskies would lead just once in the beginning of the game, but hung with the Spartans for most of it. The first half was a free-throw battle as the teams went to the line 29 times, with the Spartans winning the battle going into the locker room with a 48-44 lead. The Muskies would tie it up one minute into the second half on a lay-up by Ehnert. However, the Muskies were unable to pull out the win.
Pre-season All-American Welton paced the Spartans with 32 points, while Darrick Leonard had 23 points in the game.
The Muskies will be in action again on Wednesday, Dec. 9 as they take on Concordia University of Chicago in River Forest, Ill. Games time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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