Lake Forest Defeats Ripon in Battle of First Place Teams

Photo by Abby King
Photo by Abby King

Senior guard Eric Porter scored a game-high 19 points to help lead the Forester men's basketball team to a 69-64 victory over visiting Ripon College on Saturday.

Porter, who was honored along with classmate Orlando Brown before their Senior Day game, shot 8-for-11 from the field and connected on three of five attempts from beyond the arc. He also added three steals.

Sophomore guard Sam Husting was next on the team with 13 points, junior forward Chad Bauchan reached double figures in rebounds with 10, and freshman guard Sean Espinosa dished out a game-high six assists.

Lake Forest shot 47.3 percent from the field while limiting Ripon to 44.3. The Foresters also outscored their guests 24-12 from three-point range and 9-6 on free throws. The Red Hawks had a 39-27 edge in rebounds.

Husting kept the Foresters in the game with a pair of three-pointers early on but they trailed 19-14 at the midpoint of the first half. The home team trailed by four with six minutes left in the period before scoring nine straight points. A tip-in by Bauchan in the final minute put Lake Forest ahead 35-28 going into the locker room at the half.

Husting's third three-pointer of the contest extended the Forester lead to a game-high 10 points with 17 minutes to play but the visitors scored 12 of the next 14 points to tie the score at 44. It was the first of nine ties in the half as the teams spent 10 minutes separated by no more than two points. After a Porter three-pointer with 3:40 left gave Lake Forest a three-point lead, a Ripon three-pointer with 2:24 to play tied the score for the 13th and final time. After Forester junior guard Aram Arslanian, who scored all seven of his points in the second half, made one of two free throws with 58.9 seconds remaining, a Red Hawk three-point play with 47 seconds left gave the visitors a 64-62 advantage. Porter banked in a three-pointer with 32 seconds to play to put the home team back on top and Husting and Sotos each knocked down a pair of free throws in the final 15 seconds to secure the victory.

Lake Forest improved to 15-6 on the season while Ripon fell to 13-6. Both teams entered the game tied with Monmouth College and St. Norbert College atop the Midwest Conference standings at 10-3 in league play. Monmouth defeated St. Norbert on Saturday, leaving the Foresters and Fighting Scots still tied for first place at 11-3.

Lake Forest will travel to St. Norbert on Wednesday for a 5:30 p.m. contest.

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