Men’s basketball team drops final two games

Danny Spatchek, Staff Writer

The Lakeland men’s basketball team lost its final regular season game with Rockford 97-80 at Moose and Dona Woltzen Gymnasium on Feb. 17.

The Muskies trailed 44-29 at the break but used an 18-5 run to pull within two points of the visiting Regents. However, the second place team in the Northern Athletics Conference’s North Division used some hot shooting to close the door on Lakeland.

“We played extremely hard and found a way to battle back in the second half,” Lakeland coach Aaron Aanonsen said. “Rockford made some tough shots and got back into a rhythm offensively to pull away from us.”

Rockford got a big contribution from forward Randon Williams who upped his season average of 6.2 points per game to 23 points on a perfect 10-for-10 shooting night.

Freshman forward Jake Schwarz had a solid night down low with 23 points and seven rebounds. Junior guard Khendal Andrews and freshman point guard Josh Regal scored 17 and 16 points, respectively.

The Muskies lost their final game of the season 90-73 to Concordia Chicago in the Northern Athletics Conference Challenge Game at River Forest, Illinois last Tuesday night.

Lakeland took a 13-12 lead in the first half before the Cougars ripped off 10 unanswered points en route to a 35-21 lead heading into halftime.

“They took the ball inside and kept pounding us,” Aanonsen said. “It was hard to handle with only two healthy post players.”

The Muskies shot under 37 percent from the field and couldn’t recover from the halftime deficit.

Josh Regal lead the Muskies with 28 points on 11-of-22 shooting. Khendal Andrews registered 13 points and Jake Schwarz added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Lakeland started the season 10-5, but finished the year on a 10-game losing streak to finish fifth in the NAC North Division.

“We started off with some quality wins, but we had some key injuries to our group and got fatigued by the end of January,” Aanonsen said.

Aanonsen added that he feels optimistic about the team’s chances next year.

“If Peter Worth gets a medical redshirt, every player will be back next year,” Aanonsen said. “If our guys work hard in the offseason to improve their weaknesses, we can hopefully bridge the gap between some of the better teams.”