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.recap