Lakeland stays undefeated, takes NAC opener 69-53 at Maranatha
Athletics - posted on 12/2/2008
Keyed by a solid defensive effort and 50 combined points from freshmen Josh Regal and Jake Schwarz, the Lakeland men's basketball team knocked off Maranatha Baptist 69-53 in its Northern Athletics Conference opener on Tuesday night in Watertown.
The Muskies (3-0, 1-0 NAC) forced the Crusaders into 29.8 percent shooting for the game.
"Defensively, we played very well," Lakeland head coach Aaron Aanonsen said. "I give Maranatha a lot of credit, they hit some tough shots to stay in the game in the first half, but I felt we took control of the tempo and tone of the game in the second half."
Schwarz, a 6-5 forward, scored 15 of his 24 points in the first half, helping Lakeland take a 26-21 lead into the locker room. The Sheboygan native also grabbed 11 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end, and shot 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
"Jake played hard tonight," Aanonsen said. "He came in with a winning mentality and shot with confidence at the line. Our goal in the second half was to get Jake the ball in the post."
Lakeland also held a 47-35 rebounding advantage for the game, which Schwarz noted was a key to the game. The Muskies scored 25 second-chance points as a result, against just 13 by the Crusaders (1-2, 0-2).
"We were really able to control the boards, and get some easy buckets as a result," Schwarz said. "We came in believing we were going to win tonight."
Regal (Suring) help the Muskies build their first-half lead early in the second. The 5-10 point guard scored six points during a 13-5 run to open the half, helping Lakeland take a 39-26 lead with 12:48 to play.
"Josh had a good night on the scoring end," Aanonsen said. "He's been phenomenal for us this year so far, he's kind of like our 'energizer bunny.'"
The Muskies were able to overcome an off-night from the field with their defensive effort, as they shot 34.9 percent for the game, including 2-for-15 from 3-point range.
"We're not really shooting the ball well right now, and we will have to do that to win," Aanonsen said, "but we got some great looks down low and on the perimeter."
Lakeland will take on Benedictine this Saturday at 2 p.m. in Lisle, Ill.
"This road win was huge," Schwarz said. "Being 3-0 gives us an extra building block, so hopefully we can get the same end result this Saturday at Benedictine."
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