Second Half Helps Muskies Down Crusaders
Athletics - posted on 1/16/2007
The Lakeland women's basketball team improved their Northern Athletics Conference record to 5-3 with a 60-47 win at Maranatha Baptist Bible College on Tuesday, Jan. 16, in Watertown, Wis.
Although the Muskies (8-6 overall) edged the Crusaders by only three points at halftime, 22-19, a better second half shooting percentage and fewer turnovers helped Lakeland rebound from a NAC loss to Wisconsin Lutheran on Saturday.
"One of our goals is never to lose two in a row, so we accomplished that," said head coach April Arvan. "I thought we played well enough to win and we knocked down some 3-pointers, which is unusual for us, so that was encouraging. We had 10 turnovers in the first half, but we only had four in the second half and made more shots, so that helped us out."
After shooting just under 35 percent as a team in the first half, the Muskies improved to 40 percent in the second half and drained half of their attempts from behind the arc.
Freshman guard KC Blahnik led Lakeland's offensive cause with 14 points and also picked up the slack on the boards for the absence of senior forward Danielle Duranceau with a team-high nine rebounds. Junior guard Brenda Paulson and senior forward Jenna Boehm also contributed with 11 points apiece, although Boehm was plagued by foul trouble for the majority of the game and only spent 17 minutes on the court.
"We didn't have Danielle, who had an academic engagement, so that made a difference in our rotation," Arvan said. "Terra Hiben and Kasey Gussert played outstanding, so they were able to pick up the slack. Amanda Thielmann also hit some clutch shots, so that was nice to have a little boost from her."
Gussert, a sophomore guard, and Hiben, a freshman guard, both came off the bench to record 10 and six points respectively, with Gussert knocking down two of her three attempts from 3-point range. Thielmann, a senior guard, was also successful from 3-point land, going two-for-three and shooting 60 percent overall for eight points.
In addition to better ball control and improved shooting in the second half, the Muskies used their hard-nosed defense to seal the game with 17 steals. Blahnik led the attack with five picks, followed by Hiben and freshman guard Megan Chart with four each and Paulson and Thielmann with two apiece.
"Those three freshman having 13 steals helped us out greatly," Arvan said. "We increased our defensive pressure a great deal in the second half."
The Muskies will continue NAC play on the road with a game at Marian on Saturday, Jan. 20.
"Marian has a lot of scoring threats, so it's hard to know who to stop," Arvan said. "We're also playing on the road and both teams are trying to secure a spot in the NAC tournament, so it's an important game for both teams."
Game time is set for 2 p.m. in Fond du Lac, Wis.
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