The men’s basketball team closed out their 3 games in 4 days stretch on a 3 game winning streak. In addition to defeating Maranatha Baptist College on the road Thursday, the Lakers defeated Finlandia University on Saturday, 87-78 and Gogebic Community College on Sunday 80-69. Both games were played at the UW Manitowoc Field House. The men’s team improved their season record to 7-16.
Saturdays game against Finlandia was an exciting game. The fans were rowdy for the “Blueout”. The first half was fast paced ending in a 46-46 tie. In the second half, the Lakers turned up the defensive intensity allowing Finlandia only 32 points and 13 of 38 from the floor for 34%. The Lakers were led in scoring by Chris Jones who played extremely well while scoring 28 points.. He completed the double-double with 10 assists and 3 rebounds. Darius Barnes scored 27 points but had his string of double-doubles broken as he grabbed 7 rebounds. John Duke had a double-double of his own with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Carl Jean in addition to playing outstanding defense scored 7 points with 5 rebounds. He like Kyle Lundberg had great timing as they each hit a huge 3 point shot late in the game. Kyle finished the game with 6 points and 4 rebounds. Austin Walker and Javaughn Freeman closed out the scoring with 4 and 3 points respectively. The win improved the teams record to 6-16. The Lakers led the battle of the boards 39-37 and registered 16 steals against 10 turnovers for the game. The Lakers shot 52.2% from the floor on 36 of 69 and 73% from the free throw lane on 11 of 15.
On Sunday, the Lakers played Gogebic Community College from Iron Mountain, Michigan. The Lakers came out looking tired and over confident. The Sampson’s clearly out played the Lakers in the first half taking a 40-38 lead into the locker room. However, the second half tells a little different story. The Lakers came out playing strong defense holding the Sampson’s to just 29 points on 26.5% shooting in the second half. The Lakers were disciplined on offense taking time off the shot clock on each possession before finding an open player under the basket for a layup. The score was close until the Lakers went on a 9-0 run with about 12 minutes to go to take a 7 point lead. The strong Sampsons (pun intended) would not give up. They cut the lead to 4 points before Austin Walker hit a key jump shot from just above the free throw line as the shot clock expired. The Lakers never looked back from that point. Chris Jones took the game under his wing driving to the basket and finding open players for layups and making 8 consecutive free throws down the stretch to ice the victory. The Lakers shot 50% from the floor for the game on 24 of 48 and 81% from the charity stripe on 30 of 37. In addition, the Lakers had 14 steals and only 9 turnovers for the game.
The Lakers were led in scoring by Darius Barnes who started a new double-double streak with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Darius was tenacious on defense as well as the glass. John Duke was next in scoring with 18 points and 5 rebounds against his former team mates. Austin Walker added 14 points and 6 rebounds and Chris Jones added 12 points with 8 assists while shooting 8-8 at the charity stripe. Kyle Lundberg and Javaughn Freeman closed out the Lakers scoring with 5 points each. The win improved the Lakers record to 7-16. The Lakers will take a 3 game winning streak into this week’s action when they take to the road to play Andrews University on Saturday and Great lakes Christian on Sunday. The Next home contest for the Lakers will be Tuesday February 4, 2014 when they will play Northland International University at 8:00 pm at the UW Manitowoc Field House.
I know that the both the men’s and women’s programs really appreciates the support you have shown so far this season. The “Blueout” was a success at Saturday’s game and we thank the individuals who help make that happen. Come on out on February 4 and support both programs. If after watching both programs you do not feel the entertainment was worth twice the price of admission, I will refund 200% of your ticket price! I do not think you will find a better deal in Manitowoc!!!!!
-Coach Phil Budervic