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Women's Basketball Fall to Malone, 80-68, in Season Opener

LSSU Women fall in season opener
Photo Courtesy of Sam Downs

Cullen Maksimowski,

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.—The Lake Superior State women's basketball team dropped its season opener Friday afternoon falling to non-conference Malone, 80-68, inside of Bud Cooper Arena.

Playing in front of nearly 1,200 Sault Area elementary and middle school children, The Lakers made things interesting late in the fourth quarter after trailing, 44-67 to begin the period.

LSSU pulled to within eight points (68-76) with 47 seconds left in regulation but Malone was able to seal the win at the free-throw line.

"First of all, it was really cool to have the community come out with all the students from the elementary and middle schools and we thank them for coming," said Lake Superior coach Brandon Lokken. "Obviously the game didn't end up the way we wanted it to in our first game but we've said it along (this season) will be a process to turn this thing around.

"There were definitely some good things that we did today but also some mental mistakes as we continue to learn the rhythm of how we play. I was proud of how the girls kept fighting and answered back with a little run in the fourth quarter."

Lake Superior finished the day shooting 51.9 (28-of-54) percent from the field and 33.3 percent (5-of-14) from long-range. Malone finished at 50.9 percent (28-of-55) from the field and shot 56.5 (13-23) percent from behind the arc.

The Lakers were out rebounded, 23-21, but forced 10 turnovers while turning the ball over just four times.

Sophomore guard Courtney Jacobson paced the Lake State offensively with 18 points (7-of-11) which included a 4-of-5 performance from three-point distance.

Senior forward Tamara Novic tallied 13 points and led LSSU on the glass with eight rebounds. Sophomore Claire Radtke totaled 11 points on a 5-of-9 shooting performance.

Freshman guard Rebecca Villanueva made her first career start in the blue and gold and finished with five points in 18 minutes of action.

"All of a sudden, Rebecca (Villanueva) gets thrown into a starting role and she went 2-for-5 with a steal. She played hard and stepped up an answered the bell in that role," Lokken said.

Freshman Taylor Bryant also saw playing time in her first game as a Laker and notched four points and five rebounds in 27 minutes.

Baylen Dyrlund led the Pioneers offense with 16 points. Paiton Strother finished with 13 points and was 3-of-3 on three-point attempts.

Lakers will hit the road for three non-conference games against Minnesota-Duluth (Nov.22), Concordia-St.Paul (Nov.24) and Augustana S.D (Nov.25). Lake State returns home Nov.30 for 5:30 p.m. matchup with Ashland.

Tickets may be purchased at the Norris Center Ticket Office or at Call 906-635-2502 for more information.