Muskies season ends at LMC Championship Game in Madison
Athletics - posted on 2/26/2005
MADISON – The drive for five hit a roadblock here Saturday night as the Lakeland women’s basketball team’s quest for a fifth NCAA Tournament appearance fell short with a 72-64 loss to host Edgewood in the Lake Michigan Conference Tournament title game.
With the win, Edgewood (21-7) earns the LMC’s automatic berth in the NCAA Division III National Tournament, the first in the Eagles’ history. Lakeland, which has made four NCAA Tournament appearances, finishes the season 18-10.
A quick start to the second half and a decisive rebound advantage lifted Edgewood, also the LMC regular season champion, to its third win over the Muskies this season.
Lakeland led almost the entire first half, and the teams were tied at the break at 36. Edgewood opened the second half with a 9-1 scoring run to take its first lead of the night, a lead it would never lose.
Edgewood pushed its margin to 10 at 51-41 midway through the second half, but the Muskies rallied. A 3-pointer by senior Sara Langenhorst and a layup by classmate Renee Steinert after an Edgewood turnover cut the Eagles’ lead to 54-52 with 6:33 to play.
Lakeland cut the lead to two several more times down the stretch, but a pair of free throws and a jumper from Nickie Updike gave Edgewood a 67-61 lead with 2:35 to play.
Updike led Edgewood with 18 points, while Katie Hensgen added 13 points and 11 rebounds. Edgewood held a 41-25 rebound edge, including 22 offensive boards.
Steinert and Langenhorst, playing the final games of their memorable Lakeland careers, led the Muskies with 19 and 13 points respectively. Junior Beth Porter added 12 points and freshman Brenda Paulson scored 11 and grabbed nine rebounds.
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