Men's Basketball Finds Ways to Win Against Benedictine
Athletics - posted on 2/7/2007
The Lakeland College men's basketball team improved their Northern Athletics Conference record to 10-5 on Wednesday, Feb. 7, after winning a tight game at home over Benedictine University, 66-65. Although the Muskies (12-9 overall) were out-rebounded by the Eagles, 37-24, and shot only 50 percent from the free throw line for the game, they still managed to hang on for the win, bringing them up to third place in the conference standings.
"Only turning the ball over 11 times was the thing that saved us," said head coach Kyle Brumett. "We got killed on the boards and we didn't make our free throws tonight. Those three things usually win or lose games. Doing two out of the three you usually lose, but we found a way to win."
Lakeland found itself up, 33-29, at the close of the first half, thanks in part to junior guard Kris Saiberlich's four 3-pointers, three of which created nine of the Muskies' first 11 points. However, the squad would have to fight to retain that lead in the second half, as Benedictine would close the gap and tie the game with less than two minutes remaining.
Although the home squad built a 10 point lead midway through the second half to go up 47-37, the Eagles chipped away at the Muskies' advantage throughout the half and pulled within one point at the 3:44 mark. However, junior forward Danny Ehnert answered with a timely 3-pointer, then dished off an assist to senior forward Tyrone Coleman for a lay-up on the very next possession to keep Lakeland ahead, 65-61. Consecutive scores by the Eagles tied the score at 65, but sophomore forward Matt Rogers sank a key free throw with 1:50 remaining to tally the last point scored of the game, as Benedictine was unable to convert on a few last-second opportunities.
"They had eight offensive rebounds in the first half and only two in the second half, so I think that was the big key to us hanging on and finding a way to win," Brumett said.
Rogers led the way on offense with a game-high 24 points shooting 10 for 13 from the field, despite a tumultuous game from the charity stripe. Saiberlich finished with 19 points and sank six of his 12 attempts from behind the arc.
"Kris had a great game," Brumett said. "Matt had a great second half, and enough guys stepped up tonight to find a way to win. Matt was a 76 or 77 percent free throw shooter going into the game tonight and he went four for 10. Sometimes that happens."
Ehnert and junior guard Aaron Regal also produced solid efforts for the Muskies, as both players tallied eight points, including netting two 3-pointers apiece. Ehnert also tied Rogers for the night's team leader on the glass with five rebounds, while Regal dished out five assists.
The Muskies will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 10, with their last non-conference game of the regular season against Milwaukee School of Engineering. Game time is set for 4:15 p.m. in Lakeland's Moose and Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.
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