Lakeland wins OT thriller over Benedictine
Athletics - posted on 12/5/2009
SHEBOYGAN - The Lakeland men's basketball team erased a 13-point second half deficit, forced overtime and defeated Benedictine 74-70 in a Northern Athletics Conference contest on Saturday at Moose & Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.
Sophomores Jake Schwarz and Josh Regal (Suring, Wis.) combined for 51 points as Lakeland shot 30-of-41 from the free throw line to offset a 33.9 percent shooting performance from the field.
Schwarz scored 11 of his 26 points in overtime.
"We ran a lot of two-man action with Jake and Josh in the second half in our motion offense," Lakeland coach Aaron Aanonsen said. "We basically spread the floor, punched gaps and played from the inside out.
"Jake and Josh each had a huge second half as we tried to isolate them and let them make plays."
Down 13 with 11:36 to play, the Muskies (3-3 overall, 2-0 NAC) chipped away at the Eagles' lead, drawing to within a point at the 6:43 mark following a layup by Regal.
Senior Anthony Cobb (Milwaukee, Wis.), who posted a team-high 12 rebounds in the game, grabbed a missed layup by Schwarz and put it back in to tie the game at 61 with 29 seconds remaining. Benedictine (3-3, 1-1) missed a potential game-winner at the end of regulation to force the extra period.
In overtime, the two teams went back and forth over the first 3 1/2 minutes before Lakeland pulled away with a combination of stops and free throws. Schwarz, who was 10-of-12 from the free throw line for the game, made 7-of-8 in OT to ice it.
Aanonsen credited the change in momentum to a defensive adjustment along with the team's ability to make shots down the stretch in regulation.
"We switched our defense midway through the second half to try and change the tempo," Aanonsen said. "Our guys did a great job defensively and played together. They had the look in their eye that they weren't going to give up."
Benedictine, which was picked to finish first in the NAC South Division preseason coaches' poll, held a 32-24 advantage at the half after shooting 48.1 percent in the opening frame.
The Muskies closed the margin to 39-37 just under five minutes into the second half, but the Eagles quickly made a run to gain a double-digit lead.
For the game, Lakeland outscored the Eagles 22-11 off turnovers and 19-6 on second-chance points. Benedictine, which had 23 turnovers to Lakeland's 14, received 33 points off the bench.
"I hope we don't get complacent," Aanonsen said. "The trend for our young team the past couple years is to feel good with wins and come out flat next time. We need to enjoy tonight, but come back ready to work this week."
The Muskies close out a four-game home stand this Thursday against Edgewood at 7:15 p.m.
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