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The Lakeland Muskies were defeated 78-67 by UW-LaCrosse on Friday, Nov. 25. With the Muskies within four at the end of the first half, LaCrosse was able to pull away in the second half partly due to their bench scoring 19 points. The Muskies were led by senior Germayne James with 19 points, four assists and four rebounds, along with sophomore Kris Saiberlich who had 15 points.
"I thought we competed and played pretty hard," said head coach Gary Grzesk. "We didn't execute particularly well on the defensive end. For a stretch in the second half we gave them too many good looks right at the basket and ultimately that was the difference in the ball game."
The Muskies played a close first half taking the lead three times and tying the game twice. With 40 seconds remaining in the first half a shot by Saiberlich brought the Muskies to within two, 34-32. However, with six second left a Chris Fehrenbach basket gave LaCrosse a 36-32 edge at the half.
LaCrosse would pull away in the second half as they extended their lead to 16 on two different occasions. The Muskies battled back, led by Saiberlich's eight points in the final 2:46, to find themselves down six with 0:49 seconds remaining. The Muskies shot 46% from the floor for the game, while LaCrosse shot 50%.
The Muskies will face the two-time defending national champions, UW-Stevens Point on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. on the Lakeland campus.