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Lakers balanced scoring attack earns sole possession of third in GRAC
February 27, 2012By Chet Novak of LAKE LAND COLLEGE
MATTOON--LAKER FIELDHOUSE--Head coach, Cedric Brown, wants both a Great Rivers Athetic Conference title for Lake Land College and his team to play excellent basketball as the NJCAA Region 24 Tournament nears.
Saturday night's 67-60 win over Southwestern Illinois College, however, was a case of first-things-first, and that meant a dogfight for sole possession of third place in the GRAC. The victory puts Lake Land (19-4, 3rd) one game ahead of SWIC (9-5, 4th) in the GRAC. (A Wabash Valley College win, 87-77, over Olney Central College in Olney Wednesday leaves those teams in a tie for first place in the GRAC with identical 11-4 records.)
Researching Southnwestern Illinois College's men's basketball team, the Blue Storm, you might notice no player in particular with a high PPG. The Blue Storm relied heavily on the hot hand of Jordan Coleman (27 points, game high), however, Saturday night at Laker Fieldhouse.
The Lakers came a balanced scoring attack, eight different players scoring out of nine who hit the court during the course of a 67-60 Lake Land win. If Lake Land doesn't have the best starting five in the GRAC, than they might just have the best bench.
Leading Lake Land's scorers Orlando Rutledge with 18 points. Jomari Bradshaw added 16 and Anthony White Jr. chipped in a dozen. Darrian Gray, Jamal Williams II, Dylan Mosack, Bey Devin , and Marko Zivanovic combined for 21 additional points.
The low score might've been thought of as unusual for a GRAC game of roundball, if not for SWIC's ranking of third nationally for allowing the fewest points on defense (less than 60 per game). The top tier of the GRAC, though, is so tight, even SWIC's loss in Mattoon doesn't knock them out of the running for a GRAC title, although if they won their last two and both OCC and WVC lost their remaining game apiece, a two-way (or more) tie would result.
Lake Land is still in the hunt for a GRAC title, outright, but would have to depend upon both OCC and WVC to lose their last game while LLC would have to win their remaining two games (vs. Rend Lake College and Lincoln Trail College). With Lake Land at 10-4, wins in their last two games could create a two- or a three-way tie for first place. Forcing a tie for first in the GRAC is within the control of LLC at this point.
Rend Lake College visits Mattoon Wednesday night for a 7:30 p.m. CST tip-off versus Lake Land. The game will be simulcast on Lakers All-Access and WLKL 89.9 FM.