Lakeland knocks off Cornell
Athletics - posted on 1/3/2010
SHEBOYGAN - The Lakeland men's basketball team started 2010 on a positive note Sunday, defeating Cornell (Iowa) 75-72 in a non-conference contest at Moose & Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.
Two weeks after a gut-wrenching home loss to Beloit heading into the winter break, the Muskies (5-5 overall, 3-1 Northern Athletics Conference) posted 17 assists on 27 made field goals and turned it over just eight times in the game.
Lakeland also forced 20 turnovers to offset Cornell's stellar shooting performance. The Rams (9-3) shot 52.9 percent from the field and nearly 59 percent from 3-point range, compared to 48.2 percent and 35 percent, respectively, for the Muskies.
"Cornell shot really well and we still won the game, so our assist-to-turnover ratio was an impressive statistic," Lakeland coach Aaron Aanonsen said. "We kept them off-balance defensively combining our man-to-man with some zone, which created some turnovers."
Sophomore forward Jake Schwarz stood out offensively for the Muskies. The Sheboygan, Wis., native scored a game-high 31 points to go along with eight rebounds, converting 11-of-15 from the field on a combination of post moves and contested perimeter jumpers. He also shot 7-for-8 from the free throw line.
"He's a great player," Aanonsen said. "He's proven that he's our go-to guy. Our offense revolves around him and (sophomore guard) Josh (Regal)."
Regal, a Suring, Wis., native, registered 17 points, four rebounds, four steals and nine assists, which tied a career high.
After the Rams led for the majority of the game, Regal tied the contest at 61-61 with a 3-pointer with just under five minutes remaining in the second half.
Lakeland took its first lead since the 15:07 mark of the first half following a steal and lay-up by Regal with 2:33 left. After an empty possession by Cornell, Regal found freshman guard P.J. Marion (Milwaukee, Wis.) open in the corner for a 3-pointer with 1:04 remaining to give the Muskies a 69-64 advantage.
From that point, Lakeland converted 6-of-9 from the free throw line to seal the win.
Cornell, which received votes in the latest d3hoops.com Top 25 poll, shot 65 percent in the first half and took a 35-28 lead into the locker room. The Rams led by as many as 13 in the period.
In the second half, Lakeland held the Rams to 45.2 percent shooting and five second-chance points while shooting nearly 54 percent in the frame.
"We've been preaching the past few weeks about containing the basketball defensively and limiting the opponent to one shot," Aanonsen said. "In the games we lost, we've given up a lot of offensive rebounds. Today, we kept a big, physical team off the boards."
Lakeland continues non-conference play at Silver Lake on Saturday, Jan. 9, at 1 p.m. in Manitowoc, Wis.
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