The Lake Forest College men's basketball team was defeated 74-71 at Lakeland College in its season opener Thursday night. Junior post player Travis Clark registered game-highs with 19 points and 14 rebounds and his five assists led the Foresters.
Clark shot 8-for-13 from the field and 3-for-4 from the foul line. He played all but six minutes in the contest.
Sophomore guard Jeff Beck was next on the Foresters with 13 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. He also added a pair of steals.
Lakeland jumped out to a 46-28 lead at halftime after shooting 46.7 percent from the field and committing just three turnovers in the game's first 20 minutes. Lake Forest shot 38.5 percent and turned the ball over 15 times in the period.
The margin was 20 points (54-34) four-and-a-half minutes into the second half before the Foresters outscored the home team 28-11 over the next 10 minutes. Pilalis knocked down all three of his three-pointers and Beck and junior forward Nate Bateman each scored six points during that stretch. Lake Forest trimmed the deficit to just two points four times in the final five minutes but got no closer.
The Foresters shot 53.6 percent from the floor in the second half and 46.3 percent for the game. Lake Forest out-rebounded the Muskies 38-31 but committed 23 turnovers in the contest while Lakeland had just nine.
Lakeland raised its record to 2-0. Lake Forest's first game of the season gave head coach Chris Conger an opportunity to assess his squad going forward. "We need to form our own identity," he began. "We are not the same team that finished last year. We have to realize that we will be successful in different ways, but what must remain constant is our energy level and work ethic."
The Foresters will play their home opener next Tuesday night against the University of Chicago. The game will begin at 7:00 and a live video webcast will be available at lfc.nmtvsports.com. Live stats and a live radio broadcast will also be available.