Lakeland's second-half surge not enough at Edgewood
Athletics - posted on 12/22/2008
MADISON - The Lakeland College women's basketball team got to within one point of Edgewood College on two separate occasions Monday night, but the Muskies were unable to find a lead in their 73-69 loss to the Eagles at Edgewood.
Lakeland (8-3, 4-1 Northern Athletics Conference) trailed by 10 at the half and by 14 at one point in the second half, but crawled back into the game using a swarming full-court, ball pressure-heavy defense and key offensive contributions from
junior KC Blahnik and sophomore Mary Dennewitz.
"Things started going our way, defensively we picked it up and we were a lot better," Lakeland head coach Teri Johnson said of the Muskies' second-half run. "[Edgewood] just adjusted there at the end and answered every single time we seemed to connect."
The Eagles (4-4, 4-1) never trailed during the game, shooting 51 percent for the game despite turning the ball over 26 times.
After the Muskies closed to within 70-69 with 59 seconds left in the game after a pair of free throws by freshman Becca Tilleman, Edgewood's Shae Beckwith hit a jumper to put the Eagles back ahead by three.
On the ensuing possession, Lakeland senior Kasey Gussert was unable to get a clean look at a 3-pointer and missed off the side of the backboard.
Edgewood ran out to a 10-2 lead to open the game and went on an 8-0 spurt later in the half. The Muskies turned the ball over 14 times in the half.
"We've got to find a way to come out better and get a bigger jump on teams," Johnson said. "We've done that a couple times this year, but we have to do it on a consistent basis and not dig ourselves into such a big hole."
Dennewitz (Chicago) led the Muskies with 19 points, including 10-of-11 from the free throw line. Blahnik (Gladstone, Mich.) posted 10 points and six rebounds, while Tilleman (Green Bay) registered 15 points and a team-high four steals.
"KC Blahnik didn't play a whole lot in the first half because of foul trouble, and we wanted to make sure we had her for the second half," Johnson said. "I knew she'd come out in the second half and play her game.
As a team, the Muskies shot 23-of-27 from the free throw line, an 85.2 percent clip. Lakeland also had 13 steals, which ties a season high.
After playing three games in the last four days, the Muskies will take the week off and return to practice on Dec. 31. The team will head to Beloit College on Jan. 3 for a 2 p.m. tipoff.
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