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Jake Schwarz (Sr.-Sheboygan, Wis.) set the Lakeland College men's basketball all-time scoring record and Justin Ward (Jr.-Wisconsin Dells, Wis.) became the 39th Muskie men's player to reach 1,000 career points, and the Muskies defeated Rockford College 77-65 Saturday afternoon at Woltzen Gymnasium.
Lakeland bounced back from its first Northern Athletics Conference loss of the season on Thursday, starting the second half against Rockford with a big run to seize control. The Muskies improved to 16-3 overall and are now 9-1 in the NAC North Division.
Schwarz hit a three-pointer with 15:17 left in the game to break the record of 2,008 career points previously held by John Koslowski (1980-84). The Muskie forward came in needing eight points to tie the mark and rebounded from a quiet first half, hitting three three-pointers in the second half and finishing with 22 points as well as nine rebounds.
Ward also had his big moment in the second half, joining Lakeland's 1,000-point club with a three-pointer with 17:05 to play in the game. He scored ten consecutive points early in the second half and combined with Schwarz to score all 16 of his team's points in a 16-1 run at the start of the second half, capped by Schwarz's record-breaking triple to give the Muskies a 50-29 lead.
Lakeland would cruise the rest of the way. Rockford (5-13, 3-6 NAC) refused to be put away and continued to hang around, though the closest the Regents got was 11 points on two occasions, the last time when Sam Chones hit a three-pointer with 5:41 to play to cut the lead to 67-56.
The Muskies struggled in the first half, committing 11 turnovers and leading 34-28 at halftime. Lakeland took the lead for good early on when James Oshkeshequoam (Jr.-Keshena, Wis.) hit a three-pointer to make it 13-11 with 13:15 left in the half. Oshkeshequoam carried Lakeland with 14 points in the first half and helped his team build a nine-point lead late in the half, but the Regents closed back within three before Schwarz hit a three-pointer in the final minute before halftime.
Schwarz and Ward shared game honors with 22 points each, and Ward added a game-high 13 rebounds. Oshkeshequoam also added 16 points. The Muskies shot 25-of-58 (43.1%) but were 11-of-29 from three-point range (37.9%). Lakeland also out-rebounded Rockford 44-39, offsetting 19 turnovers in the game.
Scott Suchy led the Regents with 15 points. Rockford shot just 34.3% (24-of-70) from the field for the game.
Schwarz is the third basketball player in school history to reach 2,000 points, including Koslowski and Jill Dewane, who scored 2,154 points from 1997-2001 for the Lakeland women's basketball team.
Lakeland is on the road Wednesday for a big NAC North matchup at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon at 7 p.m. The game will be available to watch and listen to live online at http://www.lakeland.edu/muskieslive.