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The Lakeland men's basketball team slipped to .500 in Northern Athletics Conference play with a 76-70 loss Thursday to Milwaukee School of Engineering at Lakeland.
The Muskies, who have lost six of their last seven games, are 11-10 overall, 7-7 in the NAC. MSOE won its seventh straight NAC contest to improve to 9-5 in the league, 14-7 overall.
Lakeland had a 25-15 lead with 6:33 to play in the first half, but the Raiders went on a 7-0 run in the last 59 seconds of the opening half to cut the gap to one, 32-31, by halftime. MSOE grabbed the lead with 14:36 to play and pushed it to 10 on a pair of occasions en route to the win.
"I'm telling them that I'm not quitting," Lakeland head coach Kyle Brumett said. "I'm not quitting on them, and I'm not quitting on the season. The five seniors and (junior) Pete (Worth) are emotionally invested, and struggling like this is extremely disappointing and very unexpected. None of us have been in this position, and it's hard to deal with."
Lakeland had four players score in double figures, led by seniors Shane Grube (15), Kris Saiberlich (14) and Aaron Regal (12) and sophomore Khendal Andrews (12). Senior Danny Ehnert grabbed 12 rebounds, as Lakeland won the rebound battle 31-27. Brumett said it was the little things that cost the Muskies a victory.
"I thought we executed a lot better tonight, but finishing the play has been a major problem through this stretch," Brumett said. "We're shooting such a low percentage from 2-point range, and we don't really take many bad shots. It's demoralizing. When you get a good shot like that, you did something well, but the other team doesn't recognize it because you didn't score.
"We're beat down a little bit, but we have to toughen up and have some success in those situations. What I am finding out is we have guys that are not quitting and are trying to improve and are still committed."
Lakeland returns to action Saturday when the Muskies host Dominican at 4:15 p.m. It's "Think Pink" day, as Lakeland joins colleges all over the nation in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's breast cancer awareness initiative. The first 75 fans entering the game wearing something pink will receive a free "Think Pink" bracelet.