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The Lakeland College women's basketball team got their eighth consecutive win on Saturday, an 81-69 victory over Northern Athletics Conference North Division rival Marian University.
The Muskies (17-6, 12-5 NAC) survived an up-and-down game that featured two ties and three lead changes.
Lakeland got off to a fast start, after trailing 3-0, the Muskies went on an 18-4 run to take an 11-point, 18-7, lead. Marian would not go without a fight, cutting the Lakeland lead to one on three separate occasions, the last of which brought the score to 27-26, with 2:04 left in the half. The Muskies finished the half on a 7-0 run to take a 34-26 halftime lead.
Lakeland shot 33.3 percent (10-for-30) from the floor, 27.3 percent (3-for-11) from the 3-point line and 11-for-12 from the charity stripe. Sophomore Jessica Genke (Kiel, Wis.) led the Muskies with six points while senior Becca Tilleman (Green Bay, Wis.) had a team-high five rebounds.
The defense limited Marian to 25.9 percent (7-for-27) from the field and 38.5 percent (5-for-13), but the Sabres hit all seven free throw attempts. Alexis Becker led all scorers with 10 first half points. The Muskies were able to win the battle down low, outrebounding the Sabres 22-18 and outscoring them in the paint 12-4.
The second half was a roller coaster ride with two ties and two lead changes accompanied by several double-digit leads. Lakeland got out to their largest lead of 14-points, 55-41, with 12:17 left in the game. The Sabres then used a 25-9 run to take a 66-64 lead with 3:49 to play. After a Genke layup tied the game, Lakeland finished on a 17-3 run. Lakeland's bench was key as the Muskies outscored the Sabres reserves 28-8 in the half.
Lakeland's hot shooting was another reason for their second half success, shooting 50 percent (12-for-24) from the field, 42.9 percent (3-for-7) from the 3-point line and 76.9 percent (20-for-26) from the charity stripe. The defense, while lacking at times, did enough to win, holding Marian to 36.7 percent (11-for-30) from the field, 33.3 percent (6-for-18) from the 3-point arc and 93.8 percent (15-for-16) from the free throw line.
Sophomore's Leah Eisner (Stevens Point, Wis.) and Genke led the way with 11 and 10 points respectively. Senior Alyssa Schuttenhelm led the Muskies with five second half rebounds.
Every Muskie scored in the contest, led by Genke who finished with a team-high 16 points and four rebounds, while Eisner and junior Dana Henrichs each had 11 points. Tilleman added eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Lakeland returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 15, when the Muskies travel to Madison, Wis. to face NAC foe Edgewood College. With a win, the Muskies can clinch the No. 3 seed in the NAC tournament. Tip is 7 p.m.
To see what Lakeland head coach Lindsey Vande Hoef had to say about the win and all the festivities, click here.