Basketball Teams Complete a Strong First Half
The Basketball teams have completed the first half of the ACAC season and the teams are enjoying a number of firsts for Lakeland College. For the first time in Lakeland men's basketball history the team went a perfect 10 and 0 in the first semester. For the women's program this year it was the first time a Lakeland women's basketball team has been ranked in the top 15 in Canada.
This past weekend the Rustlers competed in a home and home series against the MacEwan Griffins with different results on the scoreboard but the coaches were happy with where their programs are at this time of the season. The Rustlers played at home on Friday night and traveled to Edmonton on Saturday to compete in the return engagement.
Friday night the Rustler women started off the night a little slow against the number 3 nationally ranked Griffins. The women were down 19 - 5 after the first quarter but started to chip away at the MacEwan leading the second quarter being down only by 8 going into the half. The Rustlers came out of the locker room on fire out scoring the Griffins 21 - 13 in the 3rd putting the Griffins on their heels. The final quarter went back forth but the Griffins were able to keep their unbeaten streak in check and squeak out a 63 - 59 victory against the home team. Cameo Mckerlie lead the Rustlers with 20 points and 4 rebounds while Hannah Crease-McLean added 12 points.
The men's team took the floor hoping to carry their perfect record on. The Griffins had different ideas as they were a much improved team from when they competed against the Rustlers in exhibition play early in the season. The Rustlers were off to a quick start outscoring the Griffins in the first quarter 23 - 13 but the MacEwan team slowly chipped away at the Rustlers lead. The Griffins outscored the Rustlers in the next three quarters to tied the game at the end of regulation play at 86. The Rustlers came out in overtime a little slow but were able to draw even with the Griffins before Nathan Brown was able to get two points at the end of the game to give the Rustlers a 100 - 98 victory. Njuguna Waiganjo led all Rustler scorers with 27 points with Landry Ndayitwayeko adding 24. Nathan Brown chipped in 15 points and hauled in 10 rebounds to help the Rustlers secure the victory.
Saturday in Edmonton the gals struggled to get anything going while the MacEwan team thrived on their home court. The Griffins jumped out to a 25 point lead by the half and never looked back. The Rustlers kept the score fairly even in the second half but could not gain any points on the MacEwan women dropping the game 84 - 57. Ally White played a solid game for the Rustlers scoring 10 points while Amy Warbrick added 9.
The men's team took to the floor after the Friday inspired win with a lot of energy once again building a substantial lead on the MacEwan team. The Griffins once again started to chip away at the lead throughout the game winning on the scoreboard in the next three quarters but could not gain the lead. The Rustlers were able to keep their winning streak in tact and finish the first half of the season with perfect 10 and 0 record. Adrian Curtis, Njuguna Waiganjo, and Kevon Parchment all scored 23 points for the Rustlers to secure the victory.
The basketball teams will be tapering their practices back to allow the student athletes time to prepare for their final exams and heal any injuries that the athletes have built up over the first half of the season. The basketball teams will be back in action on January 13th and 14th when they host the Lethbridge Kodiaks and Mount Royal Cougars.