Muskies Extend NAC Win Streak to Three Games with Win Over Cougars
Athletics - posted on 1/31/2007
The Lakeland College women's basketball team (12-7, 9-4 NAC) increased their Northern Athletics Conference win streak to three games with a 63-49 win over Concordia University Chicago on Wednesday, Jan. 31, in Lakeland's Moose and Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.
The Muskies' offense ran into a roadblock out for a short while towards the end of the first half, perhaps partially due to the Cougars' zone defense, as they tallied only seven points in the last five and a half minutes of the game. However, the Muskies still managed to head for the locker room up 25-20 at the break.
"It's interesting because in previous games against the zone that's where we've scored the most points," said head coach April Arvan. "We didn't play aggressive; we played tentative, so unfortunately it made the pace of the game slow."
The squad's shooting was much improved in the second half, as they knocked down 42 percent of their shots and were nearly flawless from the free throw line for the game, missing only one of their 16 attempts.
"We played a better second half than we played first half," Arvan said. "We talked at halftime about picking up the pace of the game, so it was nice we were able to shoot the ball a lot better in the second half. Defensively we did a great job for the whole game, and our offensive production went up by 13 points in the second half. We were able to put the combination together of a good defensive effort with a good offensive effort."
Senior forward Jenna Boehm led the scoring drive with a game-high 21 points followed by a 10 point effort from fellow senior forward Danielle Duranceau, who also knocked down two of her four attempts from 3-point range.
In addition to the big scorers, Arvan was also pleased with the improvement her starting guards made in the second half, as they were able to increase their offensive production. Although junior guard Brenda Paulson was unable to make a shot in the first half, she made up for it in the second half to finish with nine points while also dishing out four assists and grabbing five rebounds. Senior guard Amanda Thielmann and freshman guard Megan Chart also contributed with five points and four rebounds apiece, with Chart also reeling in four steals, to help the Muskies build a lead by as many as 23 points in the second half.
"The guards got more involved in the second half," Arvan said. "In the first half, Amanda, Megan and Brenda went one for nine, but then hit six more shots in the second half.
"It's something you can't see in the stat sheet, but I was extremely pleased with Amanda and Megan because they were in charge of defending No. 10 and 11 (Ellie Bravo and Alison Sansone), and we know they are guards that can score points. Between the two of them they average about 20 points a game. In the first half, they were 0 for five combined. A big shout-out has to go to Amanda and Megan for defending their top-scoring guards and limiting their production. That helped us have a lead at halftime and made up for the below-average first half we had offensively."
Lakeland was also victorious on the boards, out-rebounding Concordia 45 to 35, despite a 20 rebound effort from the Cougars' senior forward Atoi Sinclair. Boehm, Duranceau and freshman guard KC Blahnik combined to lead the team on the glass with six apiece.
"A huge part of this game for us was rebounding," Arvan said. "We wanted to out-rebound this team. We knew how good Sinclair is and how hard it is to keep her off the boards, but overall our entire team did a good job of rebounding."
The Muskies will look to keep their three game NAC win streak alive as they travel to Concordia, Wis., this Saturday, Feb. 3, for their second face-off with the Falcons of the season.
"We know that we have a tough task and we want to do the best job we can of competing," Arvan said. "Concordia is definitely the most talented team in our conference player for player, so we're going to do the best job we can to come up with a game plan and get a win."
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