Muskies struggle in second, fall to Aurora
Athletics - posted on 1/17/2009
SHEBOYGAN-The Lakeland College women's basketball team struggled in holding off the Aurora offense, giving up 40 second-half points in a 63-60 loss Saturday afternoon in Moose and Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.
The Muskies controlled the scoreboard for most of the first half, holding Aurora to 26.9 percent shooting from the floor. Lakeland struggled behind the arc, making only one of 10 shots from 3-point range, but made up for it by sinking all 10 free throws for the half. Junior Chelsea Coenen (Wrightstown) led the Muskies 12 points as Lakeland rode a six point half-ending run to a 35-23 lead.
"We had a good first half for probably the second time this year," Lakeland head coach Teri Johnson said. "We came out with a lot of enthusiasm, our defense was holding strong, but the second half was horrible. We failed to execute, we missed assignments, and turnovers killed us. Losing today was probably the best thing to prove that we need to take better care of the ball."
Lakeland (10-5, 5-3 NAC) struggled to hold off a tenacious Aurora offense in the second half. The Spartans slowly closed the gap after halftime, grabbing the lead with 7:07 remaining in the second half. Trailing by two with fewer than two minutes remaining, the Muskies turned over the ball three straight possessions. A made free throw gave the Spartans a three point lead, and, facing an expiring hot clock and strong defensive pressure, Kasey Gussert's (Kingsford, Mich.) 3-point attempt on the Muskies' final possession fell short.
"Chelsea had the hot hand in the first half, but getting in foul trouble got her out of synch with our offense," said Johnson. "Other people needed to step up and we didn't have people that wanted the ball or make key plays. We stood out on the 3-point line and took what they gave us, and when we aren't shooting well from three, teams are going to leave us open and make us prove we can make those shots. We've got to find a way to have more of an inside and mid-range game."
Senior KC Blahnik (Gladstone, Mich.) led all Muskie scorers with 13 points on the day. Coenen, unable to score on two second half shot attempts, finished with 12 points. Mary Dennewitz (Chicago, Ill.) and Erin Cepa (Glenview, Ill.) both provided eight points off the bench, and Cepa also led the team with seven rebounds.
Kim Voiles and Meagan Re led the charge for Aurora (10-5, 7-2), scoring 22 and 21 points, respectively. The two combined for 31 second-half points, and Voiles' 10 straight points for the Spartans fueled the Aurora victory.
"We stood behind and gave her (Voiles) easy touches," said Johnson. "You can't do that at this level to an all-conference player and allow her to get the ball and do what she wants with it.
Lakeland returns to action Wednesday, January 21 against Marian in Woltzen Gymnasium. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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