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Men's Basketball Defeats No.15 Ashland 77-66

Freshman Justin Fischer with the ball against Ashland.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — Lake Superior State men's basketball defeated No. 15 Ashland University 77-66 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play on Saturday afternoon inside Bud Cooper Gymnasium.

Lake Superior State (13-8, 9-6 GLIAC), which never trailed in the game, and Ashland (19-4, 11-4 GLIAC) were tied at 9-9 about five minutes into the game and 19-19 with about 8:30 remaining in the the first half, but the Lakers went on a 21-11 run to close out the half and take a 40-30 lead into halftime. In the second half, the Eagles surged to cut the Laker lead to two points with the score 55-53 and about seven minutes remaining in regulation. However, led by the play of senior guard Tim Cairnduff down the stretch, the Lakers held off the Eagles for the 77-66 victory. 

Cairnduff scored 14 points on an efficient 5-of-6 shooting performance, including 2-of-3 from the behind the three-point line, with two made free throws. Cairnduff was clutch down the stretch — scoring nine points over the final 5:03 of the game. In addition to his scoring, Cairnduff also tallied a team-leading five assists.

Eclipsing the 20-point plateau for the 10th time this season, junior guard Malek Adams increased his season scoring average to 17.9 points per game with a 21-point performance. He also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds on the afternoon.

Adams and Cairnduff were joined in double figures in scoring by senior guards Blake Marquardt (13) and Carson Manger (11). 

Drew Noble led the Eagles in scoring with 17 points.

Lake Superior State shot 50.8 percent from the floor and 40.9 percent on three-pointers, while holding Ashland to 43.3 percent shooting from the field and 22.2 percent shooting from behind the three-point line. The Lakers also made 10-of-12 free throw attempts in the game.

The Lakers garnered 14 assists in the game, while committing five turnovers.

The Lakers are back in action next week at home. On Thursday, they take on Michigan Tech at 7:30 p.m. before hosting Northern Michigan at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16 in Bud Cooper Gymnasium. On Saturday, the Lakers will honor their graduating seniors as part of Senior Day.

Tickets for Laker basketball home games can be purchased online or in person at the LSSU ticket office. For additional ticket information, please call (906) 635-2602. Children ages 13 and under are admitted to all Laker basketball home games free of charge.

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Here head coach Steve Hettinga's postgame comments below.