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The Lakeland College women's basketball team grabbed its first Northern Athletics Conference win of the season with a 63-51 victory over Milwaukee School of Engineering on Wednesday, Dec. 5, in Milwaukee, Wis.
Despite the sharp-shooting efforts of senior guard Peggy Keiper, who knocked down six 3-pointers in the first half alone and finished the game with a stunning 28 points, the Muskies (3-3, 1-2 NAC) shot a rough 28 percent in the first half to the Raiders' 40 percent, but still managed to head into the locker room with a slim 25-23 lead at halftime.
Lakeland continued to trade baskets with MSOE into the second half, but the Muskies were eventually able to get their offense clicking to improve to 45 percent from the floor in the second half to build a lead and secure the win.
"It's definitely good to get our first win in the NAC," said head coach Teri Johnson. "We struggled a bit offensively, but sooner or later we were able to find it and get our intensity going. We need to find a way to spread our scoring around, and in the second half we were able to do that more."
Keiper went on to finish the game with an astounding eight 3-pointers, the most by any Muskie in one game since Sara Langenhorst tallied seven in 2005, ironically against the very same Raiders. Keiper also turned in a complete game overall, as she shot 50 percent from the floor, led the Muskies on the glass with seven rebounds and picked off three steals.
"I had hoped she would have a game like this tonight," Johnson said of Keiper. "She's a great shooter. Tonight she was also able to focus on other aspects of her game and grabbed seven rebounds for us, which is exactly what we need her to do.
Sophomore guard Megan Chart was the only other Muskie to reach double digits, chipping 12 points, and shooting 2-for-3 from beyond the arc. She also led the squad with five assists, while sophomore guard Terra Hiben topped the steals column with four.
"Megan Chart had taken a back seat the last couple of games, and tonight she stepped it up for us and kept her composure during a close game," Johnson said. "That's the Megan Chart I know."
The Muskies were also able to hold MSOE's leading scorer, Dana Guthrie, well below her season average of 21 points per game.
"Defensively I'm very proud of how we played," Johnson said. "We put Terra Hiben on their leading scorer, and she held her to 12 points along with help from Allison Komaromy and Mary Dennewitz."
The Muskies will continue NAC play on the road with Maranatha Baptist Bible College on Saturday, Dec. 8. The Crusaders recently downed MSOE, 83-78, for their solo NAC win so far this season, which could make Saturday a tight game.
"We'll be facing the same sort of team on Saturday," Johnson said of Maranatha. "I don't think any game for us is going to be an easy game, and all five people on the court have to show up for us."
Game time with Maranatha is set for 2 p.m. in Watertown, Wis.