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The Lakeland College women's basketball team got a much needed win on Saturday with a 60-48 victory over Aurora University.
The Muskies (10-6, 5-5 NAC) got off to a rocky start, but solid defense and stellar shooting in the second half help Lakeland cement the win.
Lakeland continued a disturbing trend with yet another slow start, falling behind by as many as 10 points in the first half. However, they were able to do just enough to stick around and take a five point, 24-19 lead into the half. The Muskies were able to capitalize on the Spartans turnovers, scoring 16 points off of their mistakes.
"We got the monkey off our back today," said Lakeland head coach Lindsey Vande Hoef. "Coming off the two tough losses this week it was great to see the fight in our team. We started slow, but senior Becca Tilleman (Green Bay, Wis.) did an excellent job of getting us in sync and getting us back in rhythm."
Neither team shot well in the first half, as the Muskies went 7-for-30 (23 percent) from the floor, 2-for-9 from behind the arc and 8-for-10 from the free throw line. The defense limited the Spartans to 27 percent (7-for-26) from the floor, 3-for-12 from the 3-point line and 2-for-4 from the charity stripe.
In the second half Lakeland put together a solid effort on both ends of the floor to increase their lead and put the game out of reach. The Spartans wouldn't get to within more than five points the rest of the game, with the Muskies taking a game-high 16-point, 47-31, lead at the nine minute mark and made free throws down the stretch to capture the 12-point win.
"We knew what was going to work against Aurora and we were getting back to our game plan," said Vande Hoef. "Our shots started to fall in the second half and we were taking the shots they were giving us. The girls were determined to win the game and it couldn't come at a better time. It just shows that we have the talent to win on the road and to put the past two losses behind us and move on."
Lakeland shot 52 percent (12-for-23) from the field, 60 percent (3-for-5) from the 3-point line and 50 percent (9-for-18) from the line in the second half. Aurora shot 42 percent (11-for-26) from the field and hit just 1-of-8 3-point shots which were a key in the second half. The Muskies also outrebounded the Spartans 44-35 which led to a 15-9 edge in second chance points.
Junior Becky Mayo (Gladstone, Mich.) had a big game, scoring 14 points and grabbing nine rebounds while sophomore Aimee Thrune (Prairie du Sac, Wis.) added 12 points off the bench. Sophomore Jessica Genke (Kiel, Wis.) recorded her fifth double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 boards.
Tilleman finished the game with seven assists and six steals to fuel the Muskies offense.
The Muskies will look start a new winning streak as they return home to host Northern Athletics Conference North division foe Alverno College on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Tip is 7 p.m.
Stats will be available later today.