SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - The Lake Superior State men's basketball team opened its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) season with an upset over the No. 10 Ashland University Eagles by a demanding final score of 99-69 on Thursday, Dec. 5 in the Bud Cooper Gymnasium.
The first half would open with the Eagles grabbing an early 5-2 lead before the Lakers offense would take over the game. Lake State would score the next eight straight points to gain the lead. The Lakers would build onto the lead throughout the first half and would be ahead by 11 points (20-9) at the midway point of the half. Lake State's offense was led by the team's three point game as the Lakers made four consecutive baskets from outside the arc.
At the end of the first half, the Lakers held a demanding 55-29 lead over the Eagles. Senior Ke'Montrece Collins and freshman Xander Okerlund drove the Laker offense as Collins had 21 points in the half while Okerlund posted 17 points. Collins went four-for-eight on field goals, six-for-11 on three pointers and a perfect five-for-five on free throws. Okerlund made all seven field goal shots he took and went three-for-three on three point shots.
The Lakers shot 66.7 percent from the field in the first half, including 58.8 percent from outside the arc.
The Lakers strong play from the first half continued into the second twenty minutes of play. Lake State's defense was able to keep the Eagles offense under control and would again outscore Ashland in the half (44-40).
Okerlund's dominant game would end with him posting a team-leading 31 points in the game as he finished the game 12-for-12 in field goals, four-for-four in three pointers and three-for-four on free throw attempts.
Collins would also post a career game as he finished the game with 29 points against the Eagles. The senior forward ended the game going eight-for-14 in field goals, five-for-nine in three pointers and eight-for-10 on free throws.
The game ended with the Lakers shooting at a 62.1 percent from the field while ending the game with a 54.2 percentage in three pointers.
The Lakers will cap off the first pair of GLIAC games on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 3:00 p.m. against Wayne State in the Bud Cooper Gymnasium.
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