Lake Michigan College Women's Basketball were down by as much as 13 points and did not take their first lead of the game until 5:14 left in the fourth quarter, but it was enough to lead the Lady Red Hawks to a 54-52 upset win over Mid Michigan College on Wednesday night. The Lady Lakers came into the game ranked #19 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Poll.
The first quarter saw Mid Michigan come out and go on a quick 6-0 run to start the game. Lake Michigan did not score their first two points until almost four minutes had elapsed in the quarter. The Lady Red Hawks began to fight back and with a 1:45 left in the quarter, they managed to tie the game at 12-12. The Lady Lakers did score the final two points of the quarter and led 14-12 after the first 10 minutes.
In the second quarter, Mid Michigan began to extend their lead, especially due to the turnovers by Lake Michigan. After seven minutes played in the second quarter, the Lady Lakers had just gone on 18-5 run to extend their lead to 13 points (32-19) forcing Lake Michigan to call a timeout. The Lady Red Hawks then gathered themselves and managed to put on their own scoring run, outscoring Mid Michigan 8-2 in the final minutes of the quarter to cut the deficit to seven points. Mid Michigan did outscore Lake Michigan in the second quarter 20-15 and led 34-27 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Lady Red Hawks began taking care of the basketball and extended their defensive pressure to try and get back into the game. Lake Michigan also began looking inside to score their baskets instead of settling for the outside shot like they did in the first half. The Lady Red Hawks outscored the Lady Lakers 16-11 in the third quarter and went in the final 10 minutes trailing by just two points (45-43).
The fourth quarter saw both teams struggling to score. Even though Lake Michigan could not hit their own shots, they made sure to keep up their defensive effort and not let Mid Michigan score or gather offensive rebounds on their missed attempts. After five minutes of play, Lake Michigan had outscored 6-3 and took their first lead of the game when Taylor Cegelis put back an offensive rebound to put the Lady Red Hawks up 49-48. Both teams struggled to score over the next two minutes, but with 3:01 remaining in the game, Cegelis made a lay-up on the offensive end and Lake Michigan took a 51-48 lead. On their next few possessions the Lady Lakers was held scoreless and with 1:55 remaining in the game, Cegelis once again came up big for the Lady Red Hawks by hitting a three-point shot to give Lake Michigan their largest lead of the game (six points) and extending their lead to 54-48. Mid Michigan missed again on their next attempt, but forced a Lake Michigan turnover and scored a lay-up to cut the lead to 54-50 with 1:07 remaining. On the very next possession, Lake Michigan again turned the ball over, and the Lady Lakers took advantage by hitting another lay-up with 47 seconds remaining to make it a 54-52 game. The Lady Red Hawks then ran the clock down to 12 seconds before missing on their final shot and Mid Michigan grabbed the rebound with 9 seconds left. It came down to a defensive stop and Lake Michigan prevented Mid Michigan from hitting on their final attempts to hold on for the exciting 54-52 win. Lake Michigan outscored Mid Michigan 11-7 in the final quarter and 27-18 in the second half.
After the game, Coach Daniel stated "So proud of how my team never quit and fought back in the second half. This was two good teams playing hard and I am very happy that we understood it was going to take great defensive effort to win this game."
For the game, Lake Michigan only shot 32% (22-68), but held Mid Michigan to 28% (19-67). Lake Michigan also out-rebounded Mid Michigan 51-48, including 20 offensive rebounds. As a team, Lake Michigan also had 15 assists, 13 steals, nine blocks and forced Mid Michigan to commit 22 turnovers. With the win, Lake Michigan moves to 19-5 overall and 11-2 in the MCCAA Western Conference, which keeps them in a tie for first-place.
Jayla Bibbs led the Lady Red Hawks with 15 points, 16 rebounds and six steals. Samantha Jenkins was the other Lake Michigan player in double figures with 11 points. Monae Palmer contributed six assists and four blocks.
Lake Michigan will return home on Saturday, February 16, 2019 when they host Jackson College. This game will also be Sophomore Day to honor Monae Palmer, Samantha Jenkins, and Breanna Alexander. Game time is at 1:00 pm.