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The Lakeland College women's basketball team continued to use its aggressive defensive philosophy to its advantage, helping the Muskies earn their fourth Northern Athletics Conference victory in a row with a commanding 64-34 win over Milwaukee School of Engineering on Thursday, Feb. 7, at Lakeland.
The Muskies (11-10, 8-6 NAC) forced the visiting Raiders to commit 27 turnovers for the game, and also held them to 31 percent shooting with none reaching double-figures.
"Forcing them to turn the ball over was a big help to us, and we were able to use it to our advantage on the offensive end with some big steals," said Lakeland head coach Teri Johnson, whose team snagged 16 steals.
Lakeland started off the game somewhat sluggishly, as it trailed early before pulling ahead for good with 7:17 remaining in the first half. However, the Muskies were able to push the score to 35-19 by the end of the first half and never looked back in the second, using steals and improved shooting to build a formidable lead.
"We focused on a couple of things tonight like getting post touches on the inside and getting high-percentage shots," Johnson said. "When they started to double down it opened up shots for us on the outside, so I think we executed that inside-outside game pretty effectively."
Sophomore forward Emily Agner was a big part of that inside game, as she came off the bench to score 13 points, making four of her six shot attempts. Senior guard Peggy Keiper tied Agner for the honor of owning the game-high in points, as she also tallied 13 points with three made 3-pointers.
"Emily had a great game for us on the inside, and Kasey Gussert and Peggy Keiper shot consistently from the outside," Johnson said. "They were really able to find the shots that I wanted them to take and knock them down."
Gussert, a junior guard, finished with eight points and was joined by sophomore guard KC Blahnik, who also scored eight with six rebounds.
Lakeland will continue NAC play on Saturday, Feb. 9, against Alverno College for its last regular-season home contest of the season.
"This is four wins in a row now for us, so we want to build off it and keep going and use it as momentum on Saturday," Johnson said.
The Muskies will also celebrate Senior Day as well "Think Pink" Day on Saturday. Lakeland joins colleges all over the nation in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's breast cancer awareness initiative. The first 75 fans entering the game wearing something pink will receive a free "Think Pink" bracelet.
Tip-off time with Alverno set for 2 p.m. followed by the men's game against Dominican University at 4:15 p.m.