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The Lakeland College women's basketball team got another big win on Saturday, defeating the visiting Eagles of Benedictine University 57-55.
The Muskies (14-6, 9-5 NAC) trailed for most of the game, however, solid defense and aggressive post play enabled Lakeland to come away with the win.
Lakeland started slow, shooting just 25 percent (7-for-28) from the floor in the first half, while Benedictine was ready to play, taking an early 10-point lead that they would stretch to 19 on two separate occasions. Senior Becca Tilleman (Green Bay, Wis.) would score five of the teams seven points before the half to cut the lead to 12, 32-20, at halftime.
Benedictine took advantage of a poor defensive effort by the Muskies, shooting 52 percent (13-for-25) from the floor and 66.7 percent (4-for-6) from the 3-point line. The Eagle dominated inside, outscoring the Muskies 10-4 in the paint and holding a 24-to-11 rebounding edge.
The second half looked to be more of the same as the Lakeland offense continued to struggle and the defense lagged. The Eagles held a 14-point, 46-32, lead with 9:23 to play when Lakeland finally got in a groove. The Muskies used a 16-2 run over the next six minutes to tie the game at 48, with 3:25 to play. Lakeland hit three of their final four free throws to get the victory.
Sophomore Leah Eisner (Stevens Point, Wis.) led the Lakeland attack, scoring 10 points in the second half, including six straight to take the lead. Sophomore Jessica Genke (Kiel, Wis.) added seven points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
As a team Lakeland shot 50 percent (13-for-26) from the floor and 78.6 percent (11-for-14) from the free throw line and the defense stepped up, holding the Eagles to just 22 percent (7-for-32) shooting in the second half.
Junior Dana Henrichs (Fall Creek, Wis.), along with Tilleman and Eisner, finished with 10 points, while Genke added nine points and 12 rebounds.
"I'm really proud of how the girls came back and fought for the win," said Lakeland head coach Lindsey Vande Hoef. "I hope we can learn from today and be more mentally ready to play this season."
Lakeland returns to action on Tuesday, Feb. 7, as the Muskies host rival Concordia University Wisconsin in a big NAC North division contest. Tip is 7 p.m.
To see what Eisner and Tilleman have to say about the win, click here.