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Free throws paid dividends Wednesday night in Monmouth’s 81-77 win at Lake Forest as the Scots climbed back to .500 in the Midwest Conference.Shayne Smith and Josie Morgan combined to knock down three free throws in the final five seconds to give the Scots just enough cushion for the road win. Trailing 77-76 with 1:02 to play, Smith’s driving layup gave the Scots the lead for good after a back-and-forth 39 minutes. Monmouth finished the game hitting 27 of their 34 free throw attempts to stay in position for the win down the stretch. Down seven early in the fourth quarter, Monmouth chipped away, cutting the margin to two on a pair of Josie Morgan free throws with 2:40 to play. Kaitlyn Osmulski’s layup on the next possession knotted it at 73-all with 2:10 to play, but the teams continued to trade the lead, 13 times in all, before Smith’s bucket in the final minute. Becca Gallis’ 27 points led all scorers as five Scots pumped in double figures. The Scots travel to California next Tuesday and Wednesday for matchups against UC-Santa Cruz on Tuesday and No. 15 Transylvania on Wednesday. Both games will be played at the Santa Cruz campus with tip offs at 9 p.m. Central time.
Monmouth played their second three-point league game in as many outings
Wednesday night, but this time came up on the short end of a 76-73 score
in Lake Forest.
Close throughout, a Justin Batterton
layup with 13:48 left in the game gave the Scots a 10-point lead at
60-50, but the Foresters countered with 10 unanswered points to knot the
game four minutes later, setting up a sprint to the finish.
Two more Batterton points and a layup by Dee Hyler
inched the Scots to a 64-60 lead with 9:13 to play before Lake Forest
responded with a 3-pointer and three free throws to take a brief lead,
then pulled ahead for good on another 3-ball with 7:10 to play. The
Scots stayed within one possession the rest of the way, but couldn’t get
over the hump on the road.
Hyler and D.J. Swift
lit up Lake Forest, scoring 25 and 24 points, respectively
while Batterton dialed in a dozen and pulled down 11 rebounds – all on
the defensive end.
Monmouth will step out of Midwest Conference play next Wednesday with a trip to Lincoln Christian.