Kilton, big first half key Muskie victory
Athletics - posted on 1/6/2010
SHEBOYGAN - If the Lakeland women's basketball team had any rust following a 15-day span between games, then it wasn't evident on Wednesday night against Beloit.
Fueled by a 14-1 run to start the contest, the Muskies used a full-court press to force 28 turnovers in a 59-41 victory over the Buccaneers in a non-conference match-up at Moose & Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.
"I was very happy with our start, especially with eight off days over break and more than two weeks between games," Lakeland coach Teri Johnson said. "We had a lot of energy, got after it defensively and took the good shots we've been talking about."
Senior forward Katie Kilton (Waukesha, Wis.) scored a game-high 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field for Lakeland (10-2 overall, 5-0 Northern Athletics Conference), which took a 30-14 advantage into the half and led by a double-digit margin the rest of the way.
Kilton, who entered the game averaging 5.2 points per contest, used an array of short jumpers, lay-ups and 3-point plays to emerge as a key offensive threat.
"Our coaches have really emphasized facing up to the basket and making a double move," Kilton said. "We also wanted to get (Beloit) in transition, run on them and get them out of their comfort zone."
Defensively, the Muskies pressured the Buccaneers (3-7) from the opening tip, forcing the Buccaneers into 27.7 percent shooting from the field and converting 21 points off turnovers.
Beloit, which didn't register a made field goal until the 13:24 mark of the first half, crept back in the second half, cutting a 21-point deficit to 10 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game.
Eventually, Lakeland pushed its lead back up to 20 and the Buccaneers were unable to muster any sort of run the rest of the way.
"We had way too many turnovers against their zone, especially in the second half," Johnson said. "We settled in and got a little complacent. We have to find a way to be consistent and keep the energy up through the entire game."
The Muskies also shot just over 32 percent in the second half as the Buccaneers also struggled from the field.
"We couldn't put the ball in the hoop and had some dry spells during the second half," Kilton said.
Senior forward KC Blahnik (Gladstone, Mich.) recorded 12 points and 13 rebounds for Lakeland. Senior Terra Hiben (Boyceville, Wis.) and sophomore Becca Tilleman (Green Bay, Wis.) added four steals apiece.
Lakeland returns to NAC play this Saturday at home against Alverno. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.
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