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The Lakeland College women's basketball team kicked off the Cruzin Classic Tournament with a 69-55 loss to UW-Oshkosh in day one of tournament play on Tuesday, Dec. 18, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Although the Muskies (4-5 overall) hung with the Titans throughout most of the first half, Oshkosh was able to gain the advantage going into halftime, 33-18, as Lakeland failed to score during the final three and a half minutes of the period.
A lay-up by sophomore guard Terra Hiben would get Lakeland within 10 points of Oshkosh, 43-33, with 15:19 remaining in the game, but the Muskies were unable to get their opponents to budge any more than that as the Titans knocked down 56 percent of their shots for the game to Lakeland's 33 percent.
Lakeland may not have been able to find its shooting touch as much as it would have liked, but the Muskies' defensive effort was impressive, as they forced the Titans into 20 turnovers for the game. Sophomore guard Megan Chart and Hiben were part of that tenacious effort, as Chart picked off five steals while Hiben tallied four.
Senior guard Peggy Keiper and sophomore guard KC Blahnik led the Muskies' offensive drive with 13 points apiece. Blahnik also shot 50 percent from the field and snagged five rebounds. Freshman guard Mary Dennewitz also contributed with 11 points off the bench, while senior guard Brenda Paulson pulled down a team-high six rebounds to go along with seven points and three steals.
Lakeland will wrap up play at the Cruzin Classic Tournament tomorrow, Dec. 19, with Millikin University. Game time is set for 10 a.m.