A 10-point second half lead disappeared as the Lake Forest College men's basketball team was defeated 81-65 by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the semifinals of the D3 Desert Invitational on Friday.
The Foresters trailed by as many as six points early in the game but scored the final five of the opening period to take a 46-40 lead into the locker room at halftime. They increased the lead to 10 in the opening minutes of the second half before a 23-0 run by the Eagles over the next seven minutes turned the game around. La Crosse led by at least 11 points the rest of the way.
Sophomore guard Sean Espinosa led Lake Forest with 19 points and junior guard Aram Arslanian came off the bench to score 16 to go with his team-high six rebounds. Senior forward Danny Sotos also reached double figures with 12 points.
Lake Forest had a slight 33-31 advantage in rebounds and posted the higher shooting percentage in the contest, connecting on 49 percent of field goal attempts while La Crosse finished at 44.4. The Eagles, however, outscored the Foresters 36-12 on three-pointers and committed just 10 turnovers while forcing 19.
The loss dropped the Foresters' overall record on the season to 6-4 while La Crosse improved to 7-3.
Lake Forest will take on the loser of the other semifinal between Marietta College and Elmhurst College in the event's consolation game Saturday afternoon at 2:00 (MT).