WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. — The Lawrence University men’s basketball team built a double-digit lead and then held off a Lakeland College comeback to beat the Muskies 80-73 in a nonconference game in Just A Game Winter Classic on Tuesday.
Lawrence (5-5) advances to face Ashford University in Wednesday’s championship game at 7:30 p.m. Lakeland (7-1), which saw its school-record tying seven-game win streak snapped, takes on Viterbo University in the consolation game. Ashford defeated Lakeland 55-52 in the other game on Tuesday.
Chris Siebert led Lawrence with 23 points and turned in the play of the game to help the Vikings pull away. Conor Klusendorf added a season-high 20 points for the Vikings. Davis DeWolfe added 15 points and Ryan DePouw had 12 for Lawrence.
Jake Schwarz paced Lakeland with 25 points and nine rebounds, and Justin Ward had a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Lawrence built several double-digit leads but the Muskies rallied. The Vikings went on a 9-0 run, punctuated by DePouw’s steal and layup, to build a 34-22 lead with 3:17 left in the opening half. Lawrence would go on to lead 36-26 at the half.
Lakeland trimmed the lead to three in the opening minutes of the second half, but Lawrence again pulled away. The Vikings went on a 12-2 run, with Siebert scoring five points and DePouw finishing the outburst with a three-point play, to give Lawrence a 57-41 lead with 12:37 left.
The Vikings led 69-56 when Lakeland rattled off 10 consecutive points to cut the margin to 69-66.
On the ensuing possession, Lawrence was inbounding the ball from under its own basket with just three seconds left on the shot clock when a Lakeland defender turned his back on Siebert. Siebert, who was inbounding the ball, bounced the inbounds pass off the Lakeland player’s back, caught it and layed the ball in. He was fouled on the play and converted the free throw for a 72-66 Lawrence lead with 1:57 left.
Lakeland was forced to foul, and Lawrence went 8-for-12 from the foul line in the final 1:32 to seal the victory. The Vikings were 21-for-30 from the line for the game, while Lakeland was 8-for-11.