Dennewitz leads Muskies to win in league opener
Athletics - posted on 11/26/2008
SHEBOYGAN - Mary Dennewitz started it and finished it for the Lakeland women's basketball team on Wednesday night.
The sophomore point guard fueled a key first half stretch and made 3-of-4 free throws in the waning seconds of the game to help the Muskies knock off Rockford 62-59 in the Northern Athletics Conference opener for both teams at Moose & Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.
Dennewitz, a Chicago native, finished with 18 points, four rebounds and four assists, making her first start since the Muskies' season opener.
"Mary's been playing extremely well for us, and we rewarded her for that with a start tonight," Lakeland head coach Teri Johnson said. "We are extremely pleased with her contributions so far this season."
After taking a 43-25 lead with 17:37 remaining in the second half, the Muskies saw their lead disappear as the Regents (1-2, 0-1 NAC) narrowed the gap to 53-52 with just under four minutes to play.
"We talked at halftime about not being complacent and settling for jump shots," Lakeland head coach Teri Johnson said. "I told the team to not sit back and let this team back in it because they can get hot."
After Dennewitz dropped in a free throw with 3.6 seconds remaining, Rockford was unable to get a shot off before the final buzzer.
"We broke down and just really couldn't put it in the basket, but we kept fighting in the second half even though we lost a big lead," Dennewitz said.
Lakeland (3-1, 1-0) took a 37-13 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the first half, its largest lead of the game, after back-to-back 3-pointers by Dennewitz.
"We just had great ball movement and found the open player in the first half," Dennewitz said. "We worked extremely well as a team."
Lakeland jumped out to a 24-6 lead just over 12 minutes into the game with the help of a stifling zone press, which caused 12 first-half Rockford turnovers, and 11 points during the run from junior guard Chelsea Coenen (Wrightstown).
"Chelsea is a reflection of what we want off of our bench," Johnson said. "We look to our bench to be one of the staples of our program. I believe it is so important to have that first and second player off the bench."
The Muskies host Elmhurst (Ill.) in a non-conference showdown on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
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