Muskies grind out home win against Maranatha
Athletics - posted on 2/4/2010
KC Blahnik scored 17 points as the Lakeland College women's basketball team defeated Maranatha Baptist Bible College 60-44 in Northern Athletics Conference action Thursday night at Moose & Dona Wolzen Gymnasium.
The win over Maranatha was Lakeland's second of the season, having previously defeated the Crusaders 59-37 on Dec. 3.
Lakeland (15-5, 10-3 NAC) jumped out of the gate to take a quick 7-0 lead, forcing Maranatha scoreless with nine turnovers before the Crusaders registered their first points of the evening after eight minutes of play. The Muskies continued to build on their advantage throughout the remainder of the period and took a 33-19 lead into halftime.
"Coming out and pressuring the opponent lets us set the tone, and it's important for us to set the tone at the beginning of games," Lakeland head coach Teri Johnson said.
Maranatha (6-11, 2-11) closed the gap out of halftime to eight points on a 3-pointer from Kristin Morrison with 13:57 remaining in the second half. The Muskies pushed the lead back to 17 points in the next four minutes and played with a double digit lead the remainder of the game.
"Maranatha always comes out ready to play hard and they got us out of our comfort zone at times tonight," Johnson said. " We got a lot of good looks inside that led to 40 points in the paint, something we've been trying to emphasize.
Blahnik's team-high 17 points came on a 7-of-11 shooting night from the field. She has scored at least 11 points in the last 11 games and is averaging 16.4 ppg over that period. Katie Kilton added nine points as the Muskies used balance scoring from a combination of players in the win.
"Tonight was a good team win for us," Johnson said. "It's important that we keep rolling as the conference season starts to come to a close."
Morrison led Maranatha with 17 points. The Crusaders committed 38 turnovers on the night that resulted in 35 Muskie points. They completed 43.8 of their shots compared to 39.7 for Lakeland but attempted 31 fewer field goals. They were also out-rebounded by Lakeland 36-24.
Lakeland returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 6 as the opener of a men's/women's doubleheader against Dominican beginning at 2 p.m.
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