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The Lakeland College men's basketball team got a huge lift from its bench and won its fifth straight game, a 65-62 comeback victory over Cornell College Thursday afternoon in Mount Vernon, Iowa.
Freshman Chris Quinn scored all eight of his points in the second half, including a 3-pointer with 48 seconds left that gave Lakeland a 65-60 lead. Sophomore Khendal Andrews had seven points, four on a 3-point basket and a free throw after he was fouled with 2:13 to play.
Cornell (3-6) had three 3-point shots in the final seconds to tie the game, but all missed the mark. The Muskies (7-4), winners of seven of their last eight games, played again without starters Danny Ehnert and Shane Grube, who have missed the last several games due to injuries.
"I can't count the number of times, especially with some of our injuries, that I have said to these guys you don't know when it's going to be your turn to save the day, so be ready," Lakeland head coach Kyle Brumett said. "Jay Freerking, Chris Quinn, Khendal Andrews, the list today goes on and on. Phil Sontag has been outstanding in a starting role for us.
"It's so gratifying because they work equally as hard. These injuries could really have taken the wind out of our sails. Trevor McKown has played a couple solid games for us since stepping into starting role, and now some other guys are stepping up. We are counting on them."
The Muskies trailed throughout the first half, taking their first lead at 51-49 with 7:33 to play on three free throws from senior Kris Saiberlich.
Lakeland won the rebound battle 35-32 against a Cornell team that started a front line that stood 6-foot-11, 6-9, 6-6.
"This might be the tallest Division III team in the country," Brumett said. "We played so hard, but that's what we have to do. We negated their size with our effort. This is probably the best non-conference win we have had since I took the job last season."
Saiberlich scored 15 to lead Lakeland, while Sontag finished with 12 including 4 of 5 shooting from 3-point range. David Hoerres had six rebounds, and all 12 players on Lakeland's roster had at least one rebound.
Lakeland heads into its Christmas break, returning to action on Jan. 4 with a 7 p.m. home game against Northland College.