Schwarz's last-second heroics push Lakeland past Finlandia
Athletics - posted on 1/3/2009
A 3-pointer by freshman forward Jake Schwarz with 2.5 seconds remaining allowed the Lakeland men's basketball team to escape with a 73-72 non-conference victory over Finlandia University on Saturday night in Hancock, Mich.
"I'd like to say I designed it perfectly, but Jake just made a great
play," Lakeland hed coach Aaron Aanonsen said. "If he keeps his head on straight, he will continue to do things like he did tonight and be a great player for us."
With the Lions (3-11) holding a two-point advantage, Schwarz (Sheboygan) grabbed the rebound off a Finlandia missed free throw, took the ball the length of the court, pulled up and nailed the game-winner.
"Finlandia doubled (freshman point guard Josh) Regal, so I just started dribbling," Schwarz said. "I thought I heard someone yell 'clock' from the bench, so I just took the shot and it went in."
Schwarz and Regal led Lakeland with 21 points apiece. Schwarz, who has now led the Muskies in scoring for their last five games, also registered a team-high 12 rebounds.
"Jake got off to a little bit of a slow start in practice adjusting to the speed and pace of the college game," Aanonsen said. "Our goal is to play from the inside-out, so we look for him in the post. He has been fantastic in the past handful of games."
Lakeland (6-3, 2-1 Northern Athletics Conference) trailed for much of the first half, but tied the game at 38 going into the locker room after a 3-pointer by junior guard Khendal Andrews, who finished with 14 points and six boards for the game.
Aanonsen expected the Muskies' slow start, as the team got into Hancock early Saturday morning after a long trip from Northland College, where the team won 84-76 on Friday night.
"We started the game flat, which we knew could be a problem because of all the traveling between games and playing our second game in less than 24 hours," Aanonsen said. "Our guys really battled, as they've done many times this season, to get us back in the game."
Regal (Suring) battled a strained calf suffered in Friday night's game, but made several key shots down the stretch for the Muskies. Regal scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half.
The Muskies held a 47-30 rebounding edge over the Lions for the contest.
Lakeland players and coaches were excited to finish the long, grueling road trip 2-0.
"It's big, it helps the team out a lot," Schwarz said. "After losing twice in Texas, these two games were must-wins. We came out and brought it on Friday night. Tonight we didn't, but we found a way to win in the end."
The Muskies return to conference play this Wednesday at Edgewood. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. in Madison.
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