Muskies' second-half rally not enough at MSOE
Athletics - posted on 1/24/2009
The Lakeland men's basketball team cut a 13-point deficit to one in the second half, but it wasn't enough as it was defeated by MSOE 54-46 in a Northern Athletics Conference contest in Milwaukee.
The Muskies (10-7, 4-5 NAC), who trailed for a vast majority of the game, turned a 38-28 deficit into a slim 41-40 margin after junior guard Khendal Andrews capped the run with a 3-pointer with 6:19 remaining in the second half.
It wouldn't be enough, however, as the Raiders (14-3, 7-2) responded with a quick 5-0 spurt to take back control of the contest.
"We played extremely hard, and that was probably our best defensive effort of the year," Lakeland coach Aaron Aanonsen said. "Even with the loss, I couldn't be more proud of our guys."
Lakeland struggled getting into a rhythm offensively, shooting just 29.2 percent in the first half and committing 21 turnovers for the game.
"We need to do a better job managing our turnovers, but they were made on aggressive plays, so I can live with that," Aanonsen said. "It was a one- or two-possession game for most of the second half, but we just couldn't make enough plays to get over the hump."
The Muskies shot 2-of-4 from the free throw line, while MSOE made 11-of-15 from the charity stripe.
MSOE, which shot 44.2 percent from the floor, improved to 11-0 at home and maintained its ½-game lead over Aurora in the NAC South Division.
Andrews (Kankakee, Ill.) led the Muskies with 14 points, including four 3-pointers. Freshman point guard Josh Regal (Suring) and freshman forward Germell Heard (Milwaukee) added 10 points apiece for Lakeland.
With the loss, the Muskies concluded their three-game league road trip 1-2 and ended a 13-day stretch in which they played six games.
"I'm never happy with two losses in a row, but MSOE is one of the top teams in our league," Aanonsen said. "We have a bunch of young guys, but we proved we can go nose-to-nose with a great team. We just needed to make a few more plays down the stretch."
Lakeland begins a three-game home stand on Thursday against Maranatha Baptist. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Moose & Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.
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