- Evening, Weekend & Online Programs
- ALUMNI RELATIONS
- GIVING TO LAKELAND
- ABOUT LAKELAND
James Oshkeshequoam (Jr.-Keshena, Wis.) converted a four-point play with two minutes left in the game and the Lakeland College men's basketball team wrapped up the top seed in the Northern Athletics Conference Tournament with a 78-68 win Tuesday night at Woltzen Gymnasium.
The Muskies won the NAC North Division title outright and clinched homecourt advantage throughout the NAC tourney, winning their 20th game of the season. Lakeland is now 20-5 overall and finishes the regular season at 13-3 in conference play.
With the results from other NAC games Tuesday night, Lakeland now will face the Sabres again on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. Marian came into the night tied for third in the NAC North with Milwaukee School of Engineering, but MSOE fought off Edgewood College 63-58 on Tuesday. Figuring in tiebreakers with NAC South teams, the Sabres dropped down to the eighth seed in the tourney.
Lakeland and Marian already had played one tough game earlier in the season, and Tuesday night was no different. The teams swapped the lead eight times and were tied on eight occasions, the last time after Sam Koslowski made two free throws for the Sabres to tie the score at 58-58 with 4:59 to play.
The Muskies took control with the help of two big possessions which produced a total of nine points. Justin Ward (Jr.-Wisconsin Dells, Wis.) drilled a three-pointer with 4:18 to play to put Lakeland ahead 61-58, and on the play Marian's Mark Keller was whistled for a foul underneath the basket. Jake Schwarz (Sr.-Sheboygan, Wis.) drilled two free throws, and suddenly Lakeland led by five.
The Sabres whittled the lead back down to three points, but the Muskies delivered a dagger when Oshkeshequoam hit a three-pointer from the right wing while being fouled with 2:00 to play. He converted the free throw to give Lakeland a 71-64 lead, and Marian never got closer.
The first 35 minutes were rough, with numerous fouls called and even more left unwhistled in a rugged game. The teams were tied 29-29 at halftime, as Marian built a seven-point lead before the Muskies came back late to tie it.
Lakeland seemed to take control in the second half, going ahead 50-41 on a dunk by Ward with 12:01 to play and again pushing the margin to nine on two free throws by Ward. Marian rallied, though, and tied the score at 56-56 on a three by Drew Binversie with 6:39 to play. The score would be tied one final time on Koslowski's free throws before the Muskies made their final push.
Schwarz led Lakeland with 26 points and added ten rebounds, while Ward polished off a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds to go along with four blocks. Oshkeshequoam also added 16 points.
Erik Strzok (Sr.-Thorp, Wis.) also added a career-high eight points as well as two blocks on Senior Night, filling in capably when Ward had to sit for periods due to foul trouble. The Muskies shot 46.6% for the game (27-of-58), including 15-of-29 in the second half (51.7%).
Cody Veleke led Marian with 18 points and Koslowski added 17. The Sabres shot just 36.8% (21-of-57) from the field.
Lakeland won the first meeting between the two teams on Dec. 8, defeating the Sabres 88-81 in Fond du Lac. The Muskies now will host Marian on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Woltzen Gymnasium in the NAC quarterfinals. Other quarterfinal games on Saturday will feature No. 2 seed Aurora (Ill.) University hosting seventh seed Benedictine (Ill.) University, third-seeded Dominican (Ill.) University playing host to #6 Rockford (Ill.) College, and #4 Concordia University Wisconsin at home against #5 MSOE.
2013 NAC Men's Basketball Tournament Bracket