Strong second-half effort not enough for Muskies
Athletics - posted on 1/31/2009
SHEBOYGAN - The Lakeland men's basketball team surrendered a late run to close the first half, which proved to be the difference in an 85-73 setback against Wisconsin Lutheran in a Northern Athletics Conference contest Saturday at Moose & Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.
The game marked the fourth straight loss for Lakeland (10-9, 4-7 NAC) as well as the fourth consecutive victory for the Warriors.
After a free throw by junior guard Khendal Andrews pulled the Muskies to within five with 3:21 left in the first half, Wisconsin Lutheran (11-8, 7-4) closed the half on an 8-0 spurt, keyed by a pair of 3-pointers from forward Kyle Plath, who finished with 24 points in the game.
"We had some trouble defending their back screens and lost vision of our men defensively," Lakeland coach Aaron Aanonsen said. "Because of that, they were able to get some easy looks and create scoring opportunities."
The Muskies fought valiantly in the second half, trimming the Wisconsin Lutheran lead to six twice in a 30-second span, and to five at one point later in the game. However, the Warriors seemed to have an answer every time Lakeland threatened.
"I was happy with our effort, but not necessarily our execution," Aanonsen said. "When you have young and inexperienced guys like we do, there is so little room for error."
Lakeland was whistled for 31 fouls, compared to just 15 by the Warriors. The Muskies shot 41.4 percent from the field for the game and just 47.1 percent (8-for-17) from the free-throw line. WLC converted 20 of its 36 free throw attempts, and outscored Lakeland 18-2 off turnovers.
Freshman forward Jake Schwarz (Sheboygan) led the Muskies with 20 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for his second straight double-double. Andrews (Kankakee, Ill.) and freshman point guard Josh Regal (Suring) registered 11 and 12 points, respectively.
Lakeland wraps up its three-game home stand this Tuesday against NAC North Division rival Edgewood at 7 p.m. The Eagles routed the Muskies 86-66 back on Jan. 7 in Madison.
"We have to find a way to play better and execute, and come out on the left hand side of the column," Aanonsen said.
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