Foresters Edge Out Knox to Keep MWC Tournament Berth Hopes Alive

Foresters Edge Out Knox to Keep MWC Tournament Berth Hopes Alive

The Lake Forest College men's basketball team won 64-63 at Knox College Wednesday night. Junior forward Nate Bateman scored the winning points on a tip-in with less than three seconds on the clock.

Bateman was one of four Foresters to score in double figures. He finished with a dozen points after shooting 5-for-8 from the field, including 2-for-3 from three-point range.

Sophomore Jeff Beck led Lake Forest with 14 points and four assists. He shot 7-for-12 from the floor and also added seven rebounds and a pair of steals.

Forester junior post player Travis Clark and guard Chris Roets had 10 points apiece. Clark also pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.

Lake Forest shot 45.6 percent from the floor while the Prairie Fire made 51 percent of their field goal attempts. The visitors were also 9-for-24 from beyond the arc but just 3-for-7 from the free throw line. Knox shot 5-for-11 on three-pointers and 8-for-14 from the line. The Foresters had a 32-24 edge in rebounds but committed 17 of the game's 32 turnovers.

The were eight lead changes in the opening period and neither team led by more than four points until a jumper by Beck with 19 seconds on the clock gave the Foresters a 25-19 advantage at halftime.

Lake Forest increased its lead to as many as 10 points early in the second half and was ahead by eight with 12:30 to play. However, a 17-3 run by Knox over the next four-and-a-half minutes gave the home team a 53-47 lead with eight minutes to go. The Prairie Fire were ahead by seven a couple of minutes later but three jumpers by Beck and one by Bateman put the Foresters back on top by one with less than four minutes remaining. Knox scored the next five points but a three-pointer by Roets with 1:06 to play and a basket by Beck with 17 seconds left gave Lake Forest a 62-61 advantage. Knox regained the lead on a jumper with 15 seconds left and Beck was fouled with 3.5 ticks on the clock. The Foresters were in the one-and-one and his free throw missed and was batted up in the air once before Bateman grabbed it and laid it off the backboard and in for the win.

The Foresters are now 12-10 overall and 10-7 in Midwest Conference play. Knox fell to 1-21 overall and 0-17 in the league.

Lake Forest remains in contention for a spot in the four-team MWC Tournament, which will be played February 25-26 at league champion St. Norbert College. The Foresters need to defeat visiting Grinnell College in the regular season finale Saturday at 3:00 (Live Video | Live Stats) and have a pair of other league games that afternoon go their way to make the tourney.