Lakeland men's basketball victorious over Terra State
The Lakeland men's basketball team won its 4th straight game to improve their record to 6-4 (3-0) with a 79-70 victory over the Terra State Titans Wednesday night in Lakers Gym. Lakeland did not get off to a strong start as they struggled with their intensity on defense for much of the first half. They also struggled to shoot the ball much of the half as the Titans employed an effective zone defense. Despite their struggles, they were still able to go into the half tied at 35. A key play to the half was when CJ Walton, Jr. dunked a missed Lakeland shot, stole the ball on the ensuing play and finished it with a lay-up to push the Lakers lead to 5 with 2:12 to play. However, Lakeland continued to shoot the ball inconsistently and actually allowed the Titans to take a 1 point lead before an Allen Sims free throw with under 2 seconds to play in the half tied it up.
The second half started out more like Laker basketball. Lakeland picked up the intensity on defense and that led to Titan turnovers, missed shots, and quality scoring opportunities for the home team. With that effort, Lakeland grew it's lead to 14 points with 12:40 to play after back to back baskets by Chris Richardson, Jr. Lakeland once again went cold for almost 7 minutes while Terra State chipped away cutting the lead to 7 with 6:17 to play. A Jordan McMillian jumper pushed the lead back to 10 and the two teams traded baskets until the final 2 minutes. Terra continued to hit 3 pointers to keep them in the game and begin to close the gap. With just over a minute to play, Lakeland was still clinging to a 74-68 lead before Keith Germain had a crucial steal and perfect pass to a streaking Jonny Bowers who laid it in to up the lead to 76-68 with 1:03 to play. After two Terra free throws, Tyreke Johnson converted an easy basket on a great pass from Bowers to give Lakeland a 78-70 lead with 48 seconds left. After a Terra miss, they fouled Johnson and he was able to hit 1 of 2 free throws for a 79-70 lead. After another Terra miss, Lakeland was able to dribble out the victory.
Jay Lyons led the way for the Lakers with 18 points including three 3 pointer's in the second half. Bowers finished with 14 points while Johnson added 13 points.
Bowe Bytes: "We didn't play to our potential today. Defensively we didn't have good energy. We had a spurt early in the second half where we started to play well but then we let up a bit. We did what we needed to do, but we will need to regroup and come with a better effort on Saturday against Clark."
Next Up: Lakeland will play host to Clark State on Saturday, 12/7, at a special 2 pm start. Admission is free. The Lakers will then travel to Delta College to participate in the Lynn Conway Classic December 14-15 before returning home on December 19 for their final game of the semester against St. Clair County CC at 7:30 pm.
On Saturday night (12/7), Lakeland Community College will host the Harlem Legends at 7pm. 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.