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The Lakeland College women's basketball team (7-6, 4-3 NAC) dropped a tough game to Northern Athletics Conference foe Wisconsin Lutheran, 78-67, at home on Saturday, Jan. 13.
The Muskies started off the game neck-in-neck with the Warriors, as senior forward Jenna Boehm scored all nine of the home squad's first nine points to put them behind by only one point at the 11:43 mark. Lakeland would also make it close in the waning minutes of the game on consecutive 3-pointers by seniors Amanda Thielmann and Danielle Duranceau to put the squad within eight with just under one minute left on the clock. However, Lutheran's control was too much for the Muskies to overcome in the end.
After heading into the locker room at the half down, 34-21, the Warriors came out with a vengeance in the second half to go up by as many as 19 points with 10:30 left to play.
"Wisconsin Lutheran had a very comfortable lead and we had to try to play catch-up," said head coach April Arvan. "They always had control of the game. It would have taken our best and their worst to beat them. We just didn't match up well against them."
Despite falling so far behind, Lakeland refused to throw in the towel. Fueled by a colossal 27 point effort by Boehm on nearly perfect 11 for 12 shooting, the Muskies crawled back to within 11 with consecutive scores on offensive possessions. Boehm completed her third 3-point play of the game followed by a lay-up by junior guard Brenda Paulson with under seven minutes to play.
"Boehm will match up against their high-scorer, whether it is a guard or a post, and we think she will get her points and be able to balance everything out," Arvan said. "However, our supporting cast needs to make sure they show up. If they don't produce, we can't ride off of Boehm's success. Their supporting cast produced very well."
Besides Boehm, two other Lakeland players recorded double-digits as Paulson had 14 and freshman guard KC Blahnik came off the bench to tally 12 points and seven rebounds. Duranceau, a senior forward, led the Muskies on the boards with 10, while also grabbing three steals and dishing out four assists.
Although the Muskies knocked down over 50 percent of their shots in the second half to the Warrior's 39 percent, more turnovers created too big of a scoring deficit for the squad to overcome.
"It's not that we played particularly poor, it's just that they are a more talented and deeper team, and we knew that going in," Arvan said. "We just have to keep our eye on the prize of trying to get into the NAC tournament."
Lakeland will be back in action on Tuesday, Jan. 16, as they travel to Maranatha Baptist for the first of two NAC road games.
"We're playing them on the road and we only get one chance at them, so we have to show up," said Arvan of Maranatha. "We have to play hard because I understand they are much improved from previous years. We just have to bring it and see what we can do."
Game time is set for 5 p.m. in Watertown, Wis.