Sophomore guard Sean Espinosa scored 16 of Lake Forest's 52 points in the second half on Saturday as the Foresters prevailed 95-90 at Cornell College.
Espinosa shot 10-for-17 from the field and finished with a game-high 25 points. Senior forward Danny Sotos was next on the team with 23 points on 9-for-14 shooting and he tied for game-high honors with six rebounds. Espinosa, Sotos, and junior guard Aram Arslanian each dished out four assists while freshman guard Tashon Brown led the visitors in that category with seven. Arslanian also chipped in with 13 points and three steals in the contest.
Thanks in part to a 17-10 edge in turnovers forced, the Foresters had 15 more field goal attempts than the Rams and connected on six of them. Lake Forest shot 53.6 percent from the floor but the home team was even better at 57.4 percent. The visitors' eight three-pointers were two more than Cornell's but the home team outscored the Foresters 22-13 at the line.
A 13-2 run early in the game gave Lake Forest a 13-point lead at 25-12 but Cornell came back and eventually tied the game at 35. The Foresters pulled back ahead on a layup by Sotos with 2:14 remaining in the period and led 43-40 at halftime.
The lead changed hand on four consecutive possessions early in the second half and 10 times in the first 12 minutes of the period. A jumper by Espinosa tied the game at 73 with 8:47 remaining and he knocked down a three-pointer 30 seconds later to put the Foresters on top for good. The lead reached eight points by the 4:30 mark after Espinosa outscored the Rams 7-1 himself during a 70-second span but Cornell closed back to within three with a minute remaining. A pair of Espinosa free throws in the final 20 seconds accounted for all the scoring the rest of the way.
The Foresters improved to 10-5 overall and 6-2 in Midwest Conference play this season. Cornell is now 3-12 overall and 1-7 in the league.
Lake Forest will travel north to St. Norbert College on Wednesday with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.