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WATERTOWN, Wis. - The Lakeland College men's basketball team held on in the finals seconds for a 61-58 win in a Northern Athletics Conference game against Maranatha Baptist Bible College Thursday night in Watertown, Wis.
The Muskies (11-7, 6-4 NAC) were led by junior guard Josh Regal's (Suring, Wis.) game-high 22 points, three steals and three assists.
A cold-shooting first half by the Muskies allowed the Crusaders to take a 24-23 advantage at halftime. Lakeland shot a mere 26.9 percent from the field while Maranatha posted 33.3 percent, sparked by Josh Stein's double-double, including 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Head coach Aaron Aanonsen was pleased with the team's persistence.
"I have to give Maranatha a lot of credit," said Aanonsen. "They played really hard and with a lot of heart and passion.
"We did a good job defensively and were able to get some good looks in the paint, but we struggled to finish. Regal made some great plays and really took control in the final minutes of the game. The guys stuck together in the second half and it was good enough for the win."
Lakeland put together a late second half push including going on a 7-0 run with 4:23 left in the game. Freshman guard Tal Diekvoss (Beaver Dam, Wis.) hit a pair of free throws with three seconds left to secure the win and went 7-of-8 from the charity stripe.
The Muskies forced 24 turnovers that cost Maranatha too much in the final seconds and kept the Crusaders winless in conference action at home.
Junior guard Bobby Komorowski (Germantown, Wis.) posted 10 points to go along with five rebounds. Juniors Germell Heard (Milwaukee) and Jack Ridgway (Sioux Falls, S.D.) ended the night with seven points apiece. Diekvoss added nine points to go along with one assist.
For the game Lakeland shot 34.8 percent from the field, 27.3 percent from behind the arc and 78.8 percent from the free throw line. Maranatha shot 43.5 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 54.5 percent from the free throw line.
Lakeland returns to action as they travel to Milwaukee to take on NAC South Division foe, the Milwaukee School of Engineering on Saturday, Jan. 29. Tipoff is slated for 4:15 p.m. at the Kern Center.