Schwarz leads Muskies' second-half surge in win over CUC
Athletics - posted on 12/13/2008
SHEBOYGAN - Lakeland head coach Aaron Aanonsen knew Jake Schwarz would be a good player.
Aanonsen just didn't expect him to be this good five games into his first season.
The freshman forward poured in a career-high 37 points and nine rebounds, as the Lakeland men's basketball team erased a 13-point second-half deficit to defeat Concordia Chicago 84-79 in a Northern Athletics Conference contest at Moose & Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.
"When we recruited Jake, we knew he'd be a good player, but he played an amazing game today," Aanonsen said. "He just
continues to get better and play with more confidence. We need him to play well this season to be successful."
Schwarz, a Sheboygan native, went on a five-point spurt to give the Muskies their first lead of the second half, 74-73, after a pair of free throws with 3:28 remaining in the game. The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder was a presence in the lane offensively, finishing strong at the rim and converting 11-of-13 at the free throw line when he was fouled.
"It started on defense in the second half," Schwarz said. "We had some key run-outs, and my teammates were able to find me in the short corner. We just really fed off of each other's energy."
Lakeland (4-1, 2-1 NAC) was able to win a high-energy, fast-paced contest despite just finishing a grueling week of final exams and playing without juniors Khendal Andrews and Anthony Cobb, who were suspended for violating team rules.
"This win means a lot," Aanonsen said. "It's good to come out on top. I said before the game that I don't care what the score is as long as we come out on the left hand side. A lot of guys really stepped up even though we were a little short-handed."
Lakeland shot 65 percent in the first half, but trailed the Cougars 40-34 at the intermission. Aanonsen was disappointed with his team's effort in the first half.
"The first half was probably one of the lower points of the season so far," Aanonsen said. "We pride ourselves on the defensive end, so even though we shot well, we just put in no effort defensively. But in the second half we battled back and brought a lot of intensity in the last 10 minutes of the game."
For the game, Lakeland shot 71 percent (22-31) at the free throw line and a sizzling 60.4 percent from the field.
Freshmen Josh Regal (16 points), Germell Heard (13) and Eric Vandivier (10) each scored in double-figures for the Muskies. Senior forward Pete Worth added eight points, five rebounds and four assists.
Concordia Chicago (3-3, 2-1) shot just 34.8 percent in the second half.
Lakeland returns to action this Thursday and Friday in Georgetown, Texas, for the Southwestern/Trinity Classic.
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