Last week, the Lakeland's men's basketball team goals were to even their record by week's end and then get above .500 going into the Thanksgiving break. Mission accomplished. The Lakers hosted the Mercyhurst NE Saints on Tuesday night and came away with a resounding 81-48 victory. With the win, Lakeland now stands at 5-4 (2-0 conference) on the year. Lakeland started out strong defensively as they forced the Saints into many turnovers. The defensive effort proved advantageous as it opened up many scoring opportunities for the Lakers which they were able to convert. Lakeland shot 46% from the field in the first half and were able to take a 44-27 lead into the break.
Lakeland turned up the heat defensively in the second and they continued the scoring onslaught. Highlights of the half were two thunderous dunks by Keith Germain followed by 2 tremendous slams over helpless defenders by Allen Sims. When the slam fest started, the score was 58-41; when they were done the score had grown to 70-44 and Lakeland never looked back again. Lakeland had 5 total players score in double figures – Tyreke Johnson (14 points), Chris Richardson, Simms, and Germain (each scored 11), and Jonny Bowers (10 points).
This was one of Lakeland's most balanced efforts so far this season as 10 players scored in total. The Lakers also passed the ball much better and as a team dished out double digit assists. Defense was still the key though as they forced 13 turnovers by the Saints.
Bowe Bytes: "It was a complete team effort. Everyone contributed which is what we are looking for from the team. We didn't fall into the "turkey lull"; we played 40 minutes tonight. We have a nice short break now where we can use the time to refocus our efforts to finish strong in the classroom and also to get us ready to compete against Terra on Wednesday."
Next up: The Lakers will play host to league foe Terra State on Wednesday, 12/4, at 7:30 pm. Lakeland will then play host to Clark State on Saturday, 12/7, at a special 2 pm start. Admission to both games is free.
On Saturday night (12/7), Lakeland Community College will host the Harlem Legends at 7pm. Laker's head coach, Terry Bowe, is expected to play in this game. Advance tickets are $10 while Lakeland students and veterans are $8. Tickets will be $15 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at www.legendsatlakeland.com. All net proceeds will benefit Project Hope for the Homeless.