Muskies' halftime lead vanishes quickly in loss to Crusaders
Athletics - posted on 1/29/2009
SHEBOYGAN - The Lakeland men's basketball team saw a five-point halftime lead turn into a five-point deficit just under five minutes in the second half on its way to an 87-81 defeat in a Northern Athletics Conference match-up Thursday night at Moose & Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.
The Muskies (10-8, 4-6 NAC) took a 38-33 lead into the locker room after shooting over 52 percent in the opening half. However, the Crusaders, who shot a sizzling 78.3 percent and missed just five shots in the second half, went on an 11-1 run and held on for the win.
"We let Maranatha get too comfortable and into a rhythm," Lakeland coach Aaron Aanonsen said. "They deserved to win. That's the exact opposite of what we've been doing defensively lately. We scored tonight, but we couldn't stop anybody."
Lakeland fought valiantly on the offensive end, closing the deficit to 80-79 on a put-back lay-up by freshman forward Jake Schwarz with 1:18 remaining. On the ensuing possession, however, the Crusaders' Nathan Salscheider hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to put his team up by four with 45 seconds left.
After a Lakeland turnover on the next possession, the Crusaders (4-10, 1-9) iced the game with a pair of free throws.
The loss marked Lakeland's third straight setback after defeating league rival Concordia, Wis., on the road back on Jan. 20.
"During the season, there will always be peaks and valleys, and we're in a valley right now," Aanonsen said. "We need to get back to basics, instill some confidence in our guys and try to get a win on Saturday."
Schwarz (Sheboygan) led the Muskies with team highs of 25 points and 13 rebounds. Junior guard Khendal Andrews (Kankakee, Ill.) registered 13 points, while freshman point guard Josh Regal (Suring) and junior forward Anthony Cobb (Milwaukee) chipped in with 12 points apiece.
Lakeland shot 47.7 percent from the field for the contest, but made just 14-of-24 (58 percent) from the free-throw line. Nine Muskie players registered 11 or more minutes of playing time.
Lakeland returns to action this Saturday at home against Wisconsin Lutheran. Tip-off is set for approximately 4:15 p.m., or at the conclusion of the Lakeland-Wisconsin Lutheran women's game, which starts at 2 p.m.
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