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The Lakeland College women's basketball team won their second Northern Athletics Conference game with a 78-69 overtime victory at Marian on Saturday, Jan. 20, in Fond du Lac.
Although the Muskies (9-6, 6-3) led by five points with just over two minutes to play in the second half, Brittany Perez capped off a scoring run for the Sabres with a made jumpshot with 11 seconds left on the clock to knot the game up at 61 and send it into overtime.
"It was a tough game and we knew Marian was capable of putting points on the board," said head coach April Arvan. "It all comes down to making shots and taking care of the basketball. Marian stayed in it and did the blue-collar work to put us into overtime."
However, Lakeland had more to give in the extra period, as the squad's outside shooters caught fire and nailed three of their four shots from behind the arc. Senior forward Jenna Boehm put the Muskies ahead right from the start with a 3-point play of her own, as she was fouled on a made lay-up at the 4:47 mark. A made 3-pointer by junior guard Brenda Paulson and two "3's" by freshman guard KC Blahnik put the Muskies ahead, 73-67, with 1:37 left in OT.
"This game was one of the best offensive games we've had all year," Arvan said. "What helped our cause in overtime were our 3-pointers. A little luck and skill went into helping us make those."
Although Lakeland went four for nine from the charity stripe in overtime, the squad made enough to keep the lead. Senior forward Danielle Duranceau sealed the game with a free throw with under 15 seconds remaining, as Marian failed to hit their shots down the stretch.
Boehm led the Muskies' offensive cause with a colossal 29 point effort, shooting 12 for 16 from the floor. Paulson and Blahnik also provided effective double-digit scoring efforts as Paulson had 18 points, nine of which came from 3-point land, and Blahnik came off the bench to register 13 points and eight rebounds.
"Boehm was an automatic for us, which was huge," Arvan said. "Brenda Paulson and KC Blahnik also knocked down some shots on the outside, which opened things up for our inside game."
Duranceau also provided the squad with a spark on both the offensive and defensive ends, tallying her second double-double of the season with a game-high 10 rebounds and 13 points shooting 50 percent from the field.
"This game gave us some experience as to how important each conference game is," Arvan said. "That's what we're lacking is experience, but this win on the road is very important."
The Muskies have a tough schedule coming up this week, with three big NAC games ahead of them starting with Edgewood at home on Tuesday and finishing up on the road with games at Aurora on Thursday and Dominican on Saturday.
"We have to be deeper to be successful this week with three games coming up," Arvan said. "Some players played 40 plus minutes today because of the overtime period. We can't do that next week, so we need to get more of our bench involved."
Game time with Edgewood on Tuesday is set for 7 p.m. in Lakeland's Moose and Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.