Foresters Erase Pair of Large Deficits before Falling to Knox in Overtime

Photo by Sydney Gardner
Photo by Sydney Gardner

Sophomore forward Molly Schoenlein's game-high 18 rebounds were the most by a Forester in nearly six years but the Lake Forest College women's basketball team was edged out 86-58 in overtime by visiting Knox College on Saturday.

Schoenlein pulled down eight rebounds in the fourth quarter alone and three more in overtime. She also recorded a pair of blocked shots on the evening to pass Nicole Baich for sixth place in program history with 54 in her career.

Freshman guard Kelsey Burton led all players in the game with 26 points and she also chipped in with six rebounds, three assists, three blocked shots, and five steals. Freshman guard Jaianna Brooks was the only other starter on the team in double figures with 15 points but junior forward Hannah O'Day and senior guard Kelsey Schmitt came off the bench to add 16 and 10, respectively. Brooks also dished out a game-high six assists.

Lake Forest finished the evening shooting just 34.6 percent from the field while the Prairie Fire were at 39 percent. The Foresters' season-high 14 three-pointers matched the second-highest single-game total in team history and they tied the program record for attempts from beyond the arc with 38. Knox outscored the home team 20-17 from the foul line, had a 52-48 advantage in rebounds, and forced 19 turnovers while committing 17.

The Foresters fell behind by 13 points in the opening quarter but cut the deficit to just three at 23-20 when it ended. A three-pointer by O'Day two minutes into the second gave Lake Forest the lead and the margin grew to as many as five in the period. After Knox came back and took a four-point lead late in the quarter, baskets by Schmitt and Brooks tied the score at 40 going into the locker room at halftime.

The Prairie Fire opened the second half with a 15-3 run and the visitors led 61-50 after three quarters of play. They scored the first six points of the fourth as well and led by 17 with six-and-a-half minutes remaining. Lake Forest, however, accounted for the game's next 17 points, capped off by a pair of Burton free throws that tied the score with 1:23 left in the period. After a free throw by Knox ended the run, Brooks knocked down a three-pointer with 52.3 seconds remaining to give the home team its first lead of the half. Knox tied the score 10 seconds later by O'Day put the Foresters back on top on a three-pointer with 29.6 seconds on the clock. The Prairie Fire made four free throws while Lake Forest was 1-for-2 in the next 15 seconds and the visitors had three shots at taking the lead in the last 10 seconds but the buzzer sounded with the game tied at 74.

Knox started overtime strong as well with six straight points before a pair of Burton free throws and a three-pointer by Brooks made it a one-point game. A Prairie Fire basket with 1:24 left and two free throws with 19.1 to play took the visitors lead back up to five but a three-pointer by O'Day at 11.7 closed the gap to two. Two more free throws a second later returned the margin to two possessions and a Forester three-pointer at the buzzer was not quite enough for the home team.

Lake Forest is now 8-11 overall this season and 6-6 in Midwest Conference play. Knox improved to 13-5 overall and 8-2 in the league.

The Foresters will be back in action at home against Beloit College Tuesday night at 7:30.

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