KIRTLAND, Ohio – Lakeland Community College men's basketball put itself in a position to break a seven-game losing streak but Niagara County Community College used a 23-2 run in the second half and held on for a 77-73 victory Saturday afternoon.
With the loss, the Lakers fall to 1-10 overall and remain 0-2 in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference.
Lakeland came out strong in the first half and shot 56.3 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes. Granger and Pate each scored 12 in the first half but Niagara County kept it close for the first half.
The Lakers finished the first half on an 8-0 run in which Granger scored six of the eight to give Lakeland a 41-31 lead at the half. Lakeland benefited from a few points after turnovers and took advantage of quality looks in the first half.
The Lakers even came out strong to open the second half and used a 13-2 run to jump out to a 54-33 lead with 16:18 left. Howard hit a pair of 3-pointers early in the half and finished with eight points in the final 20 minutes.
After that, Niagara County picked up the defensive pressure and used a 23-2 run to tie the game up at 56-56 with 8:01 left. Lakeland regrouped after losing the lead and even held a 69-66 lead after Ben Sternberg nailed a 3-pointer with 3:26 left.
Howard kept the lead at three with a layup to make the score 71-68 but Niagara countered with five straight points to take a 73-71 lead. Burge was able to cut to the basket for a layup to tie the game up at 73-73 with 42.2 left.
Unfortunately, that would be the final points scored for Lakeland as Niagara County scored on a put back after an offensive rebound and nailed a pair of free throws to claim the four-point victory.
Lakeland will look to bounce back while getting back into OCCAC play with a road game at Columbus State Community College on Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 7:30 p.m.
For more information about Lakeland athletics, visit www.athletics.lakelandcc.edu.
About Lakeland Community College
Founded in 1967, Lakeland Community College was the first college in Ohio created by a vote of the people. True to our mission, Lakeland provides quality learning opportunities to meet the social and economic needs of the community.
Offering day, evening, weekend and online classes, the college serves more than 10,800 credit and 2,800 noncredit students (2016). For more information about the College, visit www.lakelandcc.edu.