OWENSBORO, Ky. - Senior guard Derek Billing scored a career-high 41 points to keep a foul-ridden Lake Superior State men's basketball team in Wednesday's game, and a strong supporting cast secured a 109-90 pre-Thanksgiving victory over Kentucky Wesleyan.
UKW (1-5) was within two points of LSSU (6-0) with 7:38 remaining until the Lakers took off on a 13-3 run to go ahead 88-76 with 4:26 remaining. Devin Daly, Cameron Metz, Billing and Tony Harris all scored during the run.
Kentucky Wesleyan cut the lead to seven points, 94-87, with 1:58 remaining, but Lucas Holt and Harris were a combined 9-of-10 at the free-throw line to protect LSSU's advantage.
Billing scored 20 first-half points as LSSU led 47-41 at halftime.
Billing was 7-of-11 from three-point range and had five assists before fouling out late in the game. Starters Alex Williams, Jake Blake and Metz, and reserve forward Daly also fouled out as Kentucky Wesleyan was 28-of-40 at the free throw line.
Harris finished with 18 points and six assists, and Metz added 14 points. Daly and Holt, coming off the bench, combined for 16 points and 10 rebounds.
LSSU shot 64 percent from the field, including 15-of-24 from three-point range, and made 25-of-32 free throws.
Lonnie Hayes scored 33 points, and Ken-Jah Bosley added 14 points and seven rebounds to lead UKW. The Panthers shot 52.9 percent from the field, including 8-of-19 from behind the arc. They held a 26-25 rebounding edge.
It was the first meeting between the two teams. LSSU improved to 5-4 against opponents from the newly-formed G-MAC.