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Turnovers and missed shots proved to lead to the downfall of the Lakeland College women's basketball team, as the Muskies fell to Concordia University, Wis., 43-41, in a close Northern Athletics Conference contest on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at Lakeland.
Although the Muskies (4-8, 2-4 NAC) seemed to be in control for much of the game, going up, 27-22, at the half and leading by as many as 13 points with just over 14 minutes left in the game, the Muskies hit a dry spell on offense and scored just one point from the 10:27 mark on.
The Falcons came creeping back throughout the second half, and eventually cut Lakeland's lead to four points with 5:47 remaining. A lay-up by Concordia's Pearl Wallace followed by a made 3-pointer by Melanie Kulbert tied up the score at 41 points apiece with 1:31 to go. After the Muskies were unable to put up a shot on offense, Wallace scored the game-winning lay-up with 11 seconds on the clock to seal the win.
"The only thing that I think could have helped us would have been limiting our turnovers," said head coach Teri Johnson. "That was us beating ourselves, but other than that there's nothing I would change. Defensively we did a great job of forcing them into turnovers and forcing them to take quick looks at the basket. Our defense also created some good looks for us and gave us confidence."
The Muskies forced the Falcons into 23 turnovers for the game, but committed 26 themselves, which severely limited their scoring chances on offense. Lakeland also shot just 31.4 percent from the field for the game, but dominated Concordia on the glass, 39-28.
"I thought KC Blahnik did a great job of crashing the boards," Johnson said, as the sophomore guard finished with a game-high 10 rebounds. "Rebounding was great for us tonight, and it was good to see that we improved in that area because that is something that we have struggled with all season long."
Blahnik and sophomore forward Emily Agner each registered a team-high eight points, followed by senior forward Brenda Paulson with seven points. Sophomore guard Terra Hiben was also active on the court on the defensive end, snagging a game-high seven steals.
Lakeland will continue with its final non-conference game of the regular season against Beloit College on Thursday, Jan. 10.
"Beloit is pretty tough," Johnson said. "They beat Carroll College recently, which was a Top 25 team when we played them earlier in the season, so it will be a good match-up for us."
Game time with Beloit is set for 7 p.m. at Lakeland.