Foresters Unable to Complete Comeback in MWC Tournament Final

Photo by Larry Radloff, d3photography.com
Photo by Larry Radloff, d3photography.com

The Lake Forest College men's basketball team was defeated 81-72 by Ripon College on Saturday in the championship game of the 2017 Midwest Conference Tournament.

The Foresters, who had upset league champion and tournament host St. Norbert College 73-70 in the semifinals Friday night, got off to a good start on Saturday, jumping out to a five-point lead early in the contest. Ripon tied the game a couple of times before pulling ahead for good on a three-pointer midway through the first half. A seven-point Red Hawk run late in the period made it a 10-point game and Lake Forest trailed 36-28 at halftime.

Five consecutive points by the Foresters to open the second half trimmed the margin to three but Ripon responded with a 10-0 run, resulting in the largest lead of the afternoon. The difference was 13 points again at the midpoint of the second half but baskets by Lake Forest junior forward Orlando Brown, sophomore guard Jordan Moran, and senior forward Jim Schick took it back down to seven. A three-pointer by junior guard Eric Porter with four minutes remaining pulled the Foresters to within five and a free throw by Schick with 2:11 left made it a four-point game. Porter also got his team to within three on a pair of free throws with 1:38 on the clock and again on a layup 15 seconds later, but the Red Hawks connected on a three-pointer on the next possession and made five of six free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

Moran shot 7-for-9 from the field and led Lake Forest with 18 points. Porter was next on the team with 15 and Brown added 13. Schick and senior guard Mike Rueffer chipped in with nine points apiece and led the team with seven rebounds and five assists, respectively. 

Ripon was extremely efficient in the game, shooting 54.5 percent from the field, 9-for-20 from three-point range, and 12-for-15 from the foul line. The Foresters were at 45 percent on field goal attempts, 6-for-7 from beyond the arc, and 12-for-20 on foul shots. The Red Hawks had a 35-29 edge in rebounding while Lake Forest committed fewer turnovers (7-10).

Lake Forest finished the season 14-11 while Ripon advances to the NCAA Division III Tournament with a mark of 20-5.

Schick, Rueffer, and guard Andrew Toth make up the team's senior class. The three combined for 2,206 points, 1,066 rebounds, and 398 assists over the last four years.

Lake Forest Falls to Chicago
November 19, 2016 Lake Forest Falls to Chicago