Men's Basketball Drops First Round NCAA Tournament
March 4, 2004
The Lakeland College Men's Basketball Team picked the wrong night to have an off shooting night as they fell 86-51 to host Lawrence University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday night in Appleton. The loss ended the Muskies season at 16-13 while the Vikings improved to 22-4 and advanced to a second round game against Buena Vista this Saturday in Iowa.
Both teams entered the tournament with the opportunity to make firsts for their program. Lawrence took advantage by winning their first-ever NCAA tournament game while Lakeland failed to win in their first-ever tournament appearance.
Despite the lop-sided score the Muskies were in the game until an epic scoring drought ended all hopes in the second half. Lakeland trailed just 31-29 with 6:25 to go in the first half before the Vikings closed with a 12-3 run to go into the break with a 43-32 lead.
The Muskies shot 12 of 29 from the floor in the half (41.4%) but made an impressive 6 of 12 three-pointers to stay in the game. Meanwhile, Lawrence was a red-hot 18 of 27 (66.7%) from the field while knocking down 3 of 5 from beyond the arc.
Both teams committed seven first half turnovers but Lawrence used its bulk and depth up front to gain a huge 17-10 rebounding edge.
Unfortunately, things turned worse in the second half when Lakeland shot a miserable 4 of 23 (17.4%) from the field when nothing would drop. Even worse, the Muskies didn't score a field goal in the second half until 7:33 remained in the game - an incredible span of 12:27. By this time Lawrence had taken complete control of the game and led 71-38. Including the 12-3 run to end the first half, the Viking had outscored Lakeland 40-9 in just over a 15 minute time span.
Overall, Lakeland finished 16 of 52 (30.8%) from the floor while Lawrence knocked down a whopping 37 of 60 shots (61.7%). The Vikings also controlled the boards with a huge 40-24 edge and had 12 steals.
The Muskies finished 0 for10 on three-pointers in the second half to finish 6 of 22 overall. Lawrence made 7 of 14 for the game. Surprisingly, the Muskies won the free throw battle by making 13 of 19 while the Vikings made just 5 of 8 attempts.
Individually, Lakeland was led by Ryan Hiir with 13 points (including three 3-pointers) while Nick Zeck added 12 points and 8 rebounds. Senior Cory Nickel capped a stellar career with 9 points on a 3 of 15 shooting effort. Only eight players saw action from the depleted Muskies roster as the starters logged heavy minutes.
Lawrence had four players in double figures and cleared the bench as 15 players saw action. Chris MacGillis led the way with 18 points, Dan Evans added 16 and Rob Nenahlo and Chris Braier chipped in with 14 apiece. Braier also led the Vikings with 13 rebounds and 4 assists.
Even with the disappointing loss, the Muskies capped a remarkable mid-season
turnaround after a 5-9 start and several key roster losses to grades, discipline