FOND DU LAC - The Lakeland men's basketball team suffered its eighth consecutive loss on Saturday afternoon, dropping a 68-57 decision at Marian in a Northern Athletics Conference contest.
The Muskies (10-13, 4-11 NAC) were unable to string together defensive stops and turned the ball over at crucial moments down the stretch in the second half.
After trailing for the entire game, the Muskies pulled to within 51-50 following a baseline jumper by freshman forward Jake Schwarz (Sheboygan) with 4:55 left in the game. However, the Sabres (8-15, 5-10) immediately put together a 7-0 run to regain control of the contest.
"Our guys were so resilient, but it's always difficult when you lose any game," Lakeland coach Aaron Aanonsen said. "We're not very deep, and we're pretty inexperienced and young."
Lakeland shot just 35 percent in the first half, falling behind 26-17 heading into the locker room.
With the exception of Schwarz (22 points) and freshman point guard Josh Regal (21 points), the Muskies struggled to score. The rest of the team shot just 5-for-22 from the field, and no other individual tallied more than four points.
"In the last four weeks, we've kind of hit the wall," Aanonsen said. "You can only stay positive for so long when you lose. We're just not good enough fundamentally to win close games."
Marian shot 19-for-27 from the free throw line, including 16-of-24 in the second half, compared to just 8-of-9 in the game for the Muskies.
The Sabres also shot 50 percent in the second half.
Regal (Suring) and Schwarz were the only Muskies in double figures in scoring. Schwarz and junior forward Anthony Cobb (Milwaukee) grabbed six rebounds apiece.
Lakeland returns to action this Tuesday against Rockford for its final regular season game. Tip-off at Moose & Dona Woltzen Gymnasium is slated for 7 p.m.
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