MATTOON -- Fourth quarter shooting woes defensive transition problems cost the Lake Land women's basketball team from handing Lincoln College it first loss of the season.
The Lady Lynx held the Lady Lakers to just 2-for-27 (.074) shooting from the field in the fourth quarter and rallied from a 12-point second quarter deficit to win 77-72. The Lady Lynx, 7-0 overall, outscored Lake Land 18-4 during a 7:50 stretch of the fourth to lead 72-65.
"Lincoln College attacked us and they were the better team in the fourth quarter and that is what it came down to," said Lake Land coach Dave Johnson. "You can't wither away at the end of the game (has happened in both losses). Our shooting was not very good in the fourth quarter. A lot of them were flat and short. You can't hope the ball into the basket. You have to shoot the ball into the basket. You have to shoot with confidence."
In the region 24 game, Lake Land took a 61-54 lead with the first two points of the fourth on a pair of free throws by Charleston gad, Katy Crowder. The Lady Lakers would not score again for 3:07 as Lincoln's Nautice Preston hit back-to-back three pointers and Erynn Young made one of two free throws during that time. Lake Land's Avery Jackson, a Mattoon graduate, made one of two free throws, but Preston, who was 7-of-9 from beyond the three-point line sank another to give the Lady Lynx the lead for good with 3:32 left.
It was 67-62 when Neoga graduate Jaycie Roy ended the 0-for-18 shooting from the field with a three pointer from the left side with 1:50 remaining. The Lady Lakers made it a one-possession game on a pair of free throws by Jackson with 24 seconds left and it was 74-72 after two free throws by Crowder. However, two free throws by Young with 14 seconds left, sealed the win for the Lady Lynx.
"We didn't shoot the three particularly well as a team," said Johnson of the 8-of-26 (.308) shooting. "What we don't really get yet is when we shoot the three and miss and it is a long rebound that starts the transition for the other team. We are not doing a good job of rotating within our offense. There is a lot of rotation in our offense that is not happening. We have a lot of people standing and they are not rotating. That not only affects our offense, but it affects our defensive transition out of our offense."
Jackson led Lake Land with 22 points, while Jamie Sandschafer had 14, including 10 in the first half. Crowder finished with 12 points all in the second half.
The first half saw Lake Land trailing 9-2 and 14-11 with 1:03 left in the first quarter. That is when the Lady Lakers went on a 15-0 run during a span of 3:52. The run started with the last four points of the quarter by Sandschaefer. Two free throws by Jackson, and five straight points by Neoga grad Jaycie Roy, including a three-pointer put Neoga ahead 22-14. Alex Von Kamecke scored an Jackson's layup pushed the lead to 26-14.
"I think a lot of it was sitting down and playing better defense and taking away opportunities," said Johnson. "We made sure it was one shot defensively. I thought our offense was aggressive at that time. We didn't finish the half well (outscored 10-4 in the final four minutes making it a five-point Lake Land lead). That carries over the rest of the game where we lost our aggressiveness."
Lake Land was 15-of-27 (.556) from the field in the first half.
Lake Land, 4-2 overall and 1-1 in region 24, is to play host to Wabash Valley College Nov. 29 at 5:30 p.m. in a Great Rivers Athletic Conference game.