Roadrunners split games with rival LMC
Published 11:28 pm Monday, February 6, 2023
DOWAGIAC — The first meeting between Southwestern Michigan College and Lake Michigan College on the hardwood in more than 25 years resulted in a split at the 1st Source Bank Fieldhouse Saturday afternoon.
Powered by a career-high 28 points from Edwardsburg freshman Macey Laubach, the Roadrunner women’s basketball team rolled to a 75-42 Michigan Community College Athletic Association Western Conference victory over the Red Hawks.
The SMC men’s team was not as fortunate as Lake Michigan College outscored the Roadrunners 46-33 in the opening 20 minutes of play on its way to an 83-69 Western Conference win.
The Roadrunners (12-7 3-3 Western Conference) played one of its most complete games of the season against LMC.
Southwestern Michigan used an 8-0 run at the end of the first quarter to take a 20-12 lead that it never relinquished. The Roadrunners outscored the Red Hawks 19-8 in the second quarter to up its advantage to 39-20 at the intermission.
Another 8-0 run, this time to start the second half, sealed the deal for Southwestern Michigan, which led 56-30 after three quarters.
“How about the team coming out and attacking them defensively,” said SMC Coach Jeanine Wasielewski. “Defense set the tone. That put a lot of pressure on them to defend in their zone. We have been working hard on our zone offense. Today, things were working for them. They really share the ball.”
The Roadrunners finished the game with 17 assists, led by Niles freshman Kamryn Patterson.
Laubach got off to a hot start and continued the offensive onslaught throughout the contest. She finished the game shooting 12-of-19 (57 percent) from the field. She also had six steals.
“I have been struggling the past few games,” Laubach said. “I have had a shoulder injury. I felt like this game, all of us together were sharing the ball well and finding the open person. It was just our time to show out and we did.”
Wasielewski was pleased with how Laubach played.
“They were all good decisions by her,” she said. “She did some play-making. Obviously, there was the scoring, but it came in different ways. Some of it came off steals, some off the drive, and some from the 3-point line. She really put together a nice game from all three levels.”
Besides Laubach, Southwestern Michigan also got 14 points from Cameron Thomas (Hazel Crest, Illinois) and 12 points from Ariana Lemons (Michigan City, Indiana). Thomas added six rebounds and five steals. Lemons finished with seven rebounds.
The Roadrunner’s defensive effort held Lake Michigan College to 32 percent shooting from the field, including 0-of-11 from the 3-point line.
Kalyah Watson led the Red Hawks with 17 points. Arial Ford added 15 points.
The Roadrunners struggled shooting the basketball from the field as they were just 26-of-65 (40 percent), which included 2-of-21 (9.5 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Red Hawks, on the other hand, shot nearly 50 percent from the floor (29-of-59). Lake Michigan College also dominated the Roadrunners on the boards, holding a 44-29 advantage in rebounds.
Southwestern Michigan (12-7, 3-3 Western Conference) did play better in the second half, but could not overcome the early deficit.
The Roadrunners had no answers for 6-foot-8 Abdoulaye Ba, who had 21 points and six rebounds. Jocorian Freeman scored 15 points off the bench, while Micah Johnson added 13 points and Brian Hunter Jr. 12 points.
“The one thing is we got off to such a slow start again,” said SMC Coach Rodell Davis. “We are trying to figure out how to overcome that, but we just weren’t able to do that tonight. We could not guard. We played man. We played zone. We played everything we had in our play book. We just couldn’t keep the ball in front of us. So they continued to get easy baskets on us.”
Sean Burress (Harvey, Illinois) had the hot hand for the Roadrunners as he scored a game-high 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting. He also had five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Mikel Forrest (Niles) added 17 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
Southwestern Michigan begins the second round of Western Conference action Wednesday night as it hosts Ancilla College. The women’s game is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. and the men’s game at 7:30 p.m.