Defensive effort pushes Muskies to victory
Athletics - posted on 12/3/2009
WATERFORD, Wis.--- Despite its lowest offensive output of the season, the Lakeland women's college basketball team won a decisive 59-37 defensive battle against Maranatha on Thursday night in Northern Athletics Conference action.
Trailing by four in the early minutes, Lakeland (6-0, 2-0 NAC) rattled off 14 consecutive points to take a 21-11 lead. They ended the first half by holding the Crusaders scoreless in the final 3:02 to enter halftime with a 35-23 lead. The Muskies forced 19 Maranatha turnovers in the half and scored 35 points off of a season-high 37 forced turnovers.
"Our defense carried us through the first half when we needed it," Lakeland head coach Teri Johnson said. "We've stressed all season that we have to be consistent with our pressure on defense the entire game.
Both teams struggled from the floor on the night as each completed just 32 percent of their shots from the floor. Leading by 12 at halftime, the Muskies held Maranatha to just 14 points in the second half.
KC Blahnik (Gladstone, Mich.) and Alyssa Schuttenhelm (Watertown) each scored eight points as Lakeland failed to have a scorer in double digits for the first time this season. Mary Dennewitz (Chicago, Ill.), Katie Kilton (Waukesha), Dana Henrichs (Fall Creek) and Erin Cepa (Glenview, Ill.) all scored six points apiece as the Muskies' benchtotaled 36 points on the evening.
"We know that no matter what night it is they have to be ready to play," Johnson said. "Our starters and players of the bench know that they have to be ready to do what we ask of them. It's nice to see on nights like tonight that other people step up when our top players have an off night."
Autumn Peotter scored 15 points for Maranatha (4-1, 1-1) to lead both teams and Torey DeLozier grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds for the Crusaders.
Lakeland has forced its opponents into committing at least 32 turnovers in each of its previous four games, and is averaging just over 30 turnovers a game on defense on its current six game winning streak to open the season.
The Muskies return home on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. for a NAC contest against Benedictine.
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