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The No. 1 seeded Lakeland Muskies advanced to the Lake Michigan Conference Championship game for the eighth straight season since the Muskies joined NCAA Division III play with a 53-38 win over #5 Marian on Saturday evening at the Moose and Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.
The Muskies used a 15-2 start to get out of the gate and never looked back on their way to a 25-14 halftime lead.
"We watched a lot of film of our second game against Marian and I wasn't pleased with our first ten minutes," said head coach April Arvan. "We watched that film this morning and the girls did a good job of responding to what we taught them."
Sophomore Jenna Boehm led Lakeland with 20 points, while senior Beth Porter added 14. Senior Kristi Thill led Lakeland defensively grabbing 11 boards, a steal and a block.
"Boehm had an incredible game," said Arvan. "Her offensive production was our entire team's offensive production. Nobody else was on tonight with our offense. Thankfully we defended well enough to win and we are able to have another game even though we didn't play to our potential tonight.
"Kristi Thill was off offensively tonight, but if you look at the stat sheet she had a block, a steal and 11 boards which proved the kind of heart that kid brings to the court."
The Muskies are fifth in the nation in scoring defense allowing only 49.5 points a game coming into tonight's game and once again played outstanding defense, holding Marian to just 25 percent shooting on the night.
"I emphasized at halftime that their starters shoot 40 percent plus and we don't," said Arvan. "So to hold a team like that to 25 percent overall we just defended extremely well."
The Lakeland Muskies, 20-7 overall, will play #2 seeded Concordia in the final LMC Championship game on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7:00p.m. Concordia defeated the third seeded Edgewood Eagles 71-68 to advance to the finals against Lakeland.