Muskies Fall Short in NAC Quarterfinals
Athletics - posted on 2/19/2007
The Lakeland College women's basketball team ended the 2006-07 season with a 67-47 loss to Benedictine University in the quarterfinal game of the Northern Athletics Conference Tournament on Monday, Feb. 19, in Lisle, Ill.
The Muskies, seeded No. 6 in the tournament, hung with the No. 3 seeded Eagles early in the first half, despite the absence of starting freshman guard Megan Chart, who was sidelined with an injury. Senior forward Jenna Boehm scored a lay-up followed by a solid jumper by senior forward Danielle Duranceau to give the squad their only lead of the game, 17-15, at the 10:42 mark. However, Benedictine would use a 53 percent field goal average to gain a 41-29 lead by halftime.
Lakeland cut the Eagles' lead to eight on back-to-back 3-pointers by sophomore guard Kasey Gussert and junior guard Brenda Paulson to make the score 48-40 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the game, but were unable to overcome a rough second half of shooting 20 percent from the floor to gain any more ground.
"Benedictine is a very good team and they had four double-digit scorers," said head coach April Arvan. "We gave up 41 points in the first half so we made some defensive adjustments at halftime, but then we shot 20 percent in the second half so we were unable to compensate."
Boehm capped off her collegiate career with a team-high 12 points, six rebounds and four steals in spite of intense defensive pressure by the Eagles in the lane. Duranceau topped the rebounding column with nine boards while also adding nine points, three assists and three blocks in her final game with the Muskies. Senior guards Amanda Thielmann and Stacy Kraemer also saw action in their final game, with Thielmann knocking down two "3's" for six points and also dishing out four assists while Kraemer scored two points on a pair of made free throws.
"Boehm did was she needed to do offensively and I think all of our seniors went out with their hearts on their sleeves and competed," Arvan said. "I'm very proud of the efforts of Amanda, Jenna, Danielle and Stacy. I was also proud of our effort overall and thought we did a good job on the boards, but scoring has been our issue all season. With the lack of scoring we had on our team this year, our players did a great job of competing and getting some wins."
Lakeland out-rebounded Benedictine, 36-35, but was unable to overcome its shooting difficulties, knocking down only 29 percent of their shots to the Eagles' 46 percent for the game.
"When someone gets injured, a little piece of our team isn't out there," said Arvan, referring to Chart's absence. "We had a lot of challenges this year and I'm proud of how the staff and players rallied around each other."
The Muskies finish the season with a 15-11 overall record, marking the first time since 1995 the squad will not appear as a contender in a conference championship game.
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