Foresters Escape With Victory over Lawrence

Photo by Kyra Vidas
Photo by Kyra Vidas

Freshman guard Jaianna Brooks led Lake Forest with a career-high 21 points in the women's basketball team's 70-67 victory over Lawrence University at home Wednesday night.

Brooks scored seven points in each of the first two quarters to surpass her previous career-high by halftime. She shot 8-for-14 from the field, 2-for-3 on three-pointers, and 3-for-4 from the foul line while also leading the home team with four assists and adding a career-high six rebounds.

Three other Foresters scored in double figures. Junior forward Hannah O'Day and sophomore guard Zaria Sydnor each finished with 13 points and freshman guard Kelsey Burton added a dozen. O'Day led the home team with seven rebounds and Burton with three steals.

Lake Forest shot 37.3 percent from the floor but allowed the Vikings to connect on 42.9 percent of their field goal attempts. A 42-36 advantage in rebounds allowed the home team to attempt 11 more shots than Lawrence and that, along with a 21-12 scoring advantage on three-pointers, proved to be the difference.

The Foresters never trailed and actually started the contest with the lead thanks to a technical foul on the Vikings for an incorrect starting lineup in the scorebook and two free throws by O'Day. The home team scored the first six points of the contest and led by as many as 11 in the opening quarter and by nine at 24-15 when it ended.

Lawrence closed to within four in the second quarter but the Foresters responded with seven straight points to take the lead back up to 11. A pair of Viking baskets to close out the period made the score 38-31 in favor of Lake Forest at halftime.

The Forester advantage shrunk to two on three separate occasions in the third quarter but the home team was next to score all three times. A pair of free throws by sophomore forward Molly Schoenlein with 0.4 seconds on the clock gave Lake Forest a 50-45 lead with 10 minutes to play.

Lawrence scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to tie the score and, after falling behind by four, came back again to match the Foresters' 54 points with less than seven minutes remaining. A basket by O'Day regained the lead for Lake Forest and Sydnor scored the game's next eight points on a traditional three-point play, a jumper from beyond the arc, and a layup to make it a 10-point game with 4:45 to play. The Vikings came back once again and closed to within one (66-65) on a three-point play with 42.9 seconds left. Brooks then knocked down a clutch jumper with 15.5 seconds on the clock. After a Lawrence layup made the score 68-67 with 7.4 seconds to play, Brooks received the inbounds pass and was fouled with 5.5 ticks left. She made both free throws and the visitors' potential game-tying shot in the closing seconds was off target, giving the Foresters the victory.

Lake Forest is now 7-9 overall this season and 5-4 in Midwest Conference play. Lawrence fell to 4-12 overall and 2-6 in the league.

The Foresters will travel to Monmouth College on Saturday for a 5:00 p.m. contest.