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The Lakeland College men's basketball team fell to Trinity International University (Ill.), 100-91, in a non-conference overtime thriller on Monday, Nov. 19, at Lakeland.
The Muskies (0-2) led for the entire first half and into the second half until around the 11 minute mark. Both teams continued to battle for the lead throughout the remainder of the half, with Trinity (1-5) holding onto the advantage until a tip-in by freshman forward Chas White tied the game at 85, sending both squads into overtime.
Senior guard Shane Grube, who finished with a team-high 18 points, got the Muskies off to a good start in OT with a pair of free throws. However, two consecutive 3-pointers by the Trojans' Levi Arnold, who finished with a game-high 28 points with eight made 3-pointers, gave them a strong 95-89 advantage that held for the remaining few minutes.
The Muskies failed to connect on any of their seven attempts from behind the arc in overtime, dropping their 3-point average to 29 percent for the game. Trinity's Chad Reilly closed out the game with a pair of free throws to help earn his squad their first win of the season.
"First of all, Trinity International was really good tonight," said head coach Kyle Brumett. "Their record didn't necessarily reflect their talent. They have played some good teams so far this year. But I don't think you ever expect someone to come into your gym and shoot 62 percent from the field and 75 percent from 3-point range."
Other than Arnold's stunning 80 percent average from 3-point range, four other member's of Trinity's roster scored in double-digits.
"I felt like we weren't real good defensively, but at the same time it was a combination of them hitting really, really tough shots and us having defensive breakdowns," Brumett said. "In the first half, we had a couple of six or eight point leads, and instead of getting a stop and a rebound at that time where we could have pushed the lead and built from there, we gave up some back doors and open shots. They got a lot of confidence from that."
Although Lakeland shot a respectful 43.5 percent from the field in the first two halves combined, a cold 1-for-9 effort in overtime dropped the squad to around 39 percent for the game. The Muskies also had a rough time at the charity stripe, shooting 67.9 percent as a team for the contest.
"The difference-maker in the game was that we gave up 100 points," Brumett said. "You should never score 91 and lose. The difference was our defense. You can talk about how well they played and that they made tough shots, but the bottom line was that we gave up 100 points. You don't deserve to win when you give up 100 points."
However, Brumett has also noted the steady play of a few of his players, as senior forward David Hoerres, Grube and White all came off the bench to make significant contributions.
"Shane Grube has played well in two games, David Hoerres played pretty well tonight, and I think Chas White has had a really good start to his career," Brumett said. "He has been very consistent and solid, and a bright spot for us."
Grube went 50 percent from the floor, knocking down three of his five 3-point attempts for nine of his 18 points, while Hoerres had 13 points and White chipped in seven with a team-high 10 rebounds.
Lakeland will continue non-conference action with UW-Stevens Point on Saturday, Nov. 24.
"I'm excited about playing them," Brumett said. "They are what every Division III school is trying to be. We're going to go in and give it our best effort and let the chips fall where they may. We're just to the point where we've got to get better as a group, and we're all going to stick together. We're going to get better and we're not going to quit."
Game time with Stevens Point is set for 7 p.m. in Stevens Point, Wis.