Second Half Sinks Muskies in NAC Quarterfinal vs. Edgewood
Athletics - posted on 2/27/2008
Although the Lakeland College women's basketball team shone in the first half of its Northern Athletics Conference Tournament quarterfinal game with Edgewood College, the ball did not bounce the Muskies' way in the second half as the Eagles went on a 21-2 run to take the game, 56-53, on Wednesday, Feb. 27, in Madison, Wis.
The Muskies, seeded No. 5 in the tournament, end their season at 15-11 overall as the No. 4 seeded Eagles snapped Lakeland's eight-game win streak the squad had established down the backstretch of its regular season schedule. However, the Muskies' first half play gave them hope of pulling off an upset over their hosts.
Lakeland headed into the locker room with a 34-20 lead at half, propelled by their scrappy defensive efforts that forced Edgewood into 16 turnovers for the first half alone. The Muskies also held Edgewood's leading scorer, Megan Scheele, to just four points for the period.
The Muskies went on to lead by as many as 17 points early on in the second half, but a made 3-pointer by senior guard Peggy Keiper at the 11:11 mark was the last field goal Lakeland would get for the remainder of the game.
Free throws by sophomore forward Emily Agner and freshman guard Mary Dennewitz would get the Muskies to 53 points with 7:35 to go, which is where they would stay until the final horn. Edgewood crept back to tie it up with 37 seconds left on the clock, then went ahead on a made free throw and a Scheele lay-up.
Scheele caught fire in the second half, finishing with a game-high 20 points and 19 rebounds, and scored 10 points during the Eagles' 21-2 run to close the game.
"The two biggest problems for us were that Scheele got more touches and they forced more turnovers on us in the second half," said Lakeland head coach Teri Johnson, as her team committed 13 second half turnovers. "In the first half we did a good job of taking care of the ball, forcing turnovers and limiting Scheele, but we just kind of buckled in the second half."
Agner led the Muskies off the bench with 14 points and three steals in the first half. Sophomore guards Megan Chart and KC Blahnik also contributed with nine and eight points, respectively, with Blahnik leading the team on the glass with nine rebounds.
Edgewood moves on to face No. 1 seeded Concordia, Wis., in the NAC Tournament semifinals on Friday.
"This team was able to overcome a great deal of adversity after being in a slump in December," Johnson said. "We came back in the second half of the year, stuck together, and made it to the conference tournament when sometimes it looked out of sight for us. I think that just shows the true character of this team and how we didn't give up on each other."
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