Muskies hang tough before falling to Calvin in women’s basketball opener

More news about: Lakeland

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Lakeland College women's basketball team led the game into the second half before powerful Calvin (Mich.) College closed strong to defeat the Muskies 61-48 in both teams' season openers Saturday afternoon in a non-conference game.

The Knights finished the game on a 10-2 run over the final four minutes to finally shake a game Muskies team.  Calvin defeated Lakeland in the first game of the season for the second straight year.

Lakeland shot 56.5% (13 of 23) in leading almost the whole way in the first half, eventually taking a 32-30 lead into halftime. The Muskies were eventually done in by 30 turnovers, though, as well as 21 offensive rebounds by the Knights.

Lakeland came out of halftime scoring right away, with Rachel Stankevich (Fr.-Goodman, Wis.) hitting a quick jumper for a 32-28 lead, but Calvin scored the next nine points in a row to take the lead for good.

The Muskies hung around, though, and cut a 10-point deficit to five, the last time when C.J. Usadel (Fr.-Sheboygan, Wis.) hit a three-pointer to make it 51-46 with 4:08 to play. Lakeland would miss four shots and commit three turnovers on its next seven possessions, though, and Calvin scored 10 straight points to finally pull away.

Usadel led the Muskies with nine points, eight rebounds and three steals off the bench in her college debut, while Stankevich also was a force in her first game with eight points, seven rebounds and three steals. Lakeland also showed further depth inside with Mikayla  Hilton (So.-Port Washington, Wis.) adding five points and six rebounds and Maddy Doll (Fr.-Florence, Wis.) pitching in four points, four rebounds and four blocked shots.
Calvin shot just 32.0% (24 of 75) but finished with 28 more shots than Lakeland, which shot 19 of 47 (40.4%). Brianna Verkaik finished with 19 points, eight rebounds, five steals and five blocked shots for the Knights.

The Muskies now have more than a week to rest before their next game, the home opener Tuesday, Nov. 25 against the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at 7 p.m. at the Woltzen Gymnasium.