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Lakeland College shot 50.8% from the field, hit 14 three-pointers and was nearly perfect from the free throw line, and the Muskies needed all of it to defeat Northland International University 98-84 Tuesday night in a non-conference game at Woltzen Gymnasium.
Despite leading the entire second half, Lakeland was unable to put the Pioneers away until a late 8-0 in the final three minutes. The Muskies concluded their non-conference season with another win, though, and improved to 12-2 overall.
Lakeland made 33 of 65 shots from the field, including 16 of 29 in the second half (55.2%). The Muskies also made 14-of-30 from three-point range (8-of-14 in the second half) and also hit 18 of 19 free throws in the contest (94.7%).
Despite all of that, the Muskies were unable to shake a Northland International (8-5 overall) team that got 27 points from Micah Baines and 25 points from Kyler Gardner. The Pioneers also shot it well, making 31 of 63 shots (49.2%) and stayed in the game with 10 three-pointers, including seven in the second half.
Lakeland led 43-37 at halftime, making a late run to take over after the game featured six ties and six lead changes in the first half. The Muskies got a quick jump in the second half, going ahead by 12 on two occasions, but NIU refused to fold.
An 8-0 run capped by a jumper by Jon Egan cut Lakeland's lead to 65-62 with 10:13 to play in the game. The Muskies stretched the margin back out, going ahead 79-66 after Joey Burris (So.-Kiel, Wis.) hit a three-pointer with 7:43 remaining in the game, but the Pioneers came back one more time, and a layup by Jordan Harrison made it 87-81 with 3:34 to play.
Lakeland put it away shortly after a timeout, as Burris and Jake Schwarz (Sr.-Sheboygan, Wis.) hit back-to-back three-pointers, the second making it 93-81 with 2:41 left. In all the Muskies finished the game on an 11-3 run, posting their largest lead of the game at 14 at the end.
Schwarz scored 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, recording game highs in both categories, and he is now 86 points from the school scoring record of 2,008 points held by John Koslowski (1980-84). Schwarz hit six three-pointers in the game, while Burris added 22 points, including five three-pointers.
James Oshkeshequoam (Jr.-Shawano, Wis.) and Justin Ward (Jr.-Wisconsin Dells, Wis.) both added 11 points each, and Brandon Hagenow (Fr.-Sussex, Wis.) added four points as well as seven rebounds and eight assists. Lakeland also finished with a 39-29 rebounding advantage.
The Muskies are home again Thursday night when they host Maranatha Baptist Bible College at 7 p.m. in a Northern Athletics Conference game at Woltzen Gymnasium.