Smart, solid play leads to win over Rockford
Athletics - posted on 1/26/2010
Maintaining possession of the basketball hasn't always come easy this season for the Lakeland women's basketball team. Tuesday night appeared to be a different story as the Muskies defeated Rockford 59-39 in Northern Athletics Conference action at Moose & Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.
Lakeland (13-5, 8-3) was forced into just five turnovers on the night and committed its first turnover with 10:02 remaining in the second half, breaking its previous low of 13 turnovers against Concordia Wisconsin earlier this month.
"I loved how well we took care of the ball tonight," Lakeland head coach Teri Johnson said. " We played fairly well in both halves tonight, which was good to see after Saturday when we struggled in the second half against MSOE."
Rockford (6-12, 5-6) led twice in the opening three minutes before baskets on consecutive possessions by Terra Hiben and KC Blahnik gave Lakeland a 6-4 lead 3:23 into the first half. The Muskies drove up the lead twice to 14 points before heading into the break with a 31-21 lead.
Lakeland dominated the second half of play in much the same fashion, holding Rockford to four completed field goals and outscoring them 15-5 in the first 11 minutes after halftime in the 20 point victory.
Blahnik led all scorers with 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and collected a team-high nine rebounds. Mary Dennewitz added eight points and five assists, and Hiben, whom Johnson has seen continued offensive growth from in the past couple weeks, scored seven points.
"Terra has really stepped up her game on offense," Johnson said. "We know what to expect from her on defense but she's gotten her confidence up on offense lately."
10 different Muskies scored at least two points for Lakeland as all 14 players saw at least five minutes of action.
"Being able to get everyone minutes in a game like this shows us things about players that we may not see in practice," Johnson said.
Melissa Swaziek scored 14 points to lead the Regents and Danielle Townsend grabbed a game-high 11 boards. Rockford shot just 30 percent from the field and was 0-7 from beyond the 3-point line on the night.
Lakeland looks to continue its three game win streak on the road, traveling to Wisconsin Lutheran on Saturday, Jan. 30 for a 1 p.m. tip off.
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