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The Lakeland College men's basketball team hits the road over the Christmas break to participate in the Defiance College Tournament on Dec. 29-30 in Defiance, Ohio.
The Muskies will square off against Trine University on Dec. 29 at 5 p.m. EST and will face either Knox College or Defiance College on Dec. 30.
Lakeland (5-2) is coming off an 87-59 non-conference win over Silver Lake College on Dec. 17. Junior Jake Schwarz leads the team in scoring with 25 points per game. The Muskies look forward to facing new competition and hope to leave Defiance as the Purple and Gold Tournament Champions.
"We are looking forward to taking this trip and being able to get away for a bit," said head coach Aaron Aanonsen. " It's always fun when you can take your team out of state and get them away from what they've been used to for the past couple of months."
The Trine Thunder are out of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and has put together a 6-3 record, including a 79-64 victory over Northern Athletics Conference foe Aurora University on Nov. 18. On Dec. 19, Franklin College handed Trine an 82-75 loss and snapped the Thunder's five-game winning streak.
Ian Jackson leads the Thunder in scoring with 21.0 points per game. Trine averages 75.1 ppg and holds its opponents to 68.8 ppg. The Muskies are averaging 84.4 ppg and have held their opponents to 73.1 ppg.
"Trine has a couple of solid players and will be a good test for us," Aanonsen said. "These games will help us prepare for the second half of the NAC season."
In game two on Dec. 29, Defiance College takes on Knox College at 7 p.m. EST.
Defiance College's head coach, Kyle Brumett, is a familiar face to Aanonsen and some of the players. Brumett served as Lakeland's head coach for two years, and he led the Muskies to the NAC Tournament Championship in 2007-08.
"Myself and some of the guys have a history with Coach Brumett," said Aanonsen. "That makes the trip a little more special."
Defiance is out of the Ohio Athletic Conference and has compiled a 2-7 record, including losing its last five games from Nov. 30-Dec. 17. Logan Wolfrum leads the team with 17.7 ppg. The Yellow Jackets average 73.6 ppg and have allowed their opponents to score 79.3 ppg.
Knox College is out of the Midwest Conference and is off to a rough start at 2-6, including losing its first five. Knox dropped its season opener to the NAC's Benedictine University, 69-63, but recorded a 63-58 win over the Milwaukee School of Engineering on Dec. 17.
Lukas Shaw leads the Prairie Fire in scoring with 17.7 ppg and the team averages 60.9 ppg. Defensively, Knox gives up 69.9 ppg.
Fans can find live stats online for all games at http://www.defianceathletics.com/mbasketball/tournament11/. All games being on Eastern Standard Time.