Muskies hold off Wisconsin Lutheran in three point victory
Athletics - posted on 1/31/2009
The Lakeland College women's basketball team survived a late second half run from Wisconsin Lutheran, knocking off the southern division-leading Warriors 55-52 Saturday afternoon in a Northern Athletics Conference contest at Moose & Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.
Trailing 49-48, junior Chelsea Coenen (Wrightstown) hit a 3-pointer with under two minutes remaining to give the Muskies a two-point advantage. After Wisconsin Lutheran tied the game on a pair of free throws, junior KC Blahnik (Gladstone, Mich.) sunk a pair of her own, putting the Muskies up two again with 41 seconds remaining. Shooting free throws on its next possession, Wisconsin Lutheran missed the front end of its pair and made the second to cut the Lakeland lead to one. On the ensuing possession, Becca Tilleman (Green Bay) missed the front end of a one-and-one. Trailing by a point, Wisconsin Lutheran turned over possession on a fast-break travel. Sending Tilleman to the line once again, the freshman guard made both free throws to put the Muskies up by the final 55-52 tally.
Leading 24-21 at halftime, freshman Autumn Gaylor (Ingleside, Ill.) converted a lay-up to give Lakeland a 10 point lead, its largest of the day with 10:17 remaining. The Muskies fell into a slump over the next six minutes, missing eight consecutive field goal attempts and failing to score a point until another Galyor lay-up at 4:18 put Lakeland up six.
"Wisconsin Lutheran buckled down on defense late in the game," said Lakeland head coach Teri Johnson. "We weren't aggressive as we were in the first half when we were getting good looks and our shooters were taking the shots they wanted. We lost that aggressiveness, and we stressed that we needed to go at them instead of sitting back and letting them dictate our offense."
Trailing by eight early in the first half, the Muskies sparked a 9-0 run on baskets by four different players. Neither team was unable to pull away in the remainder of the half as Lakeland took a three point lead into the break.
Blahnik once again led all Muskies in the score sheet, shooting 6-14 from the field on her way to scoring 16 points, including 12 in the second half. Gaylor recorded 10 points and eight rebounds, and Coenen added nine points of her own. Lakeland (14-5, 9-3) shot 40 percent as a team while holding Wisconsin Lutheran to 36 percent from the field.
Brtany Lindert scored a game-high 18 points with nine rebounds and Whitney Miller added 11 as the starting five for the Warriors (11-7, 9-3) tallied all 52 points.
"Lindert was pretty hot in the first half and we had to take away her touches," Johnson said. "Limiting what she was able to do in the second half was crucial."
Lakeland committed 13 turnovers on the day, the fourth straight game the Muskies have turned over possession 15 times or less.
"When we turn the ball over, teams seem to really capitalize on it and they turn into easy points," said Johnson. "We've been very successful when we keep turnovers below 15 and we did a great job of making the easy pass and weren't careless with the ball today."
Winners of four straight, Lakeland returns to action Thursday, Feb. 5th in a Northern Athletics Conference contest against Maranatha at Woltzen Gymnasium. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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