Illinois College Hands Lake Forest First MWC Loss of the Season

Photo by Chris Pier
Photo by Chris Pier

In its final game before the Holidays, the Forester women's basketball team was defeated 73-62 by Illinois College at home Tuesday night.

Lake Forest junior forward Hannah Hiland led all players in the contest with 22 points and she added three steals and a pair of blocked shots. It was her second straight game with at least 20 points and the second time she scored that many against the Lady Blues in their last two meetings.

Freshman guard Kelsey Burton was the only other Forester in double figures with 11 points. She also led the team with eight rebounds and five assists and matched Hiland with three steals.

The teams combined to shoot 54.3 percent from the field and scored a total of 48 points in the first quarter. Illinois College went on to shoot 43.7 percent in the game while the Foresters fell to 31.9. Lake Forest connected on just six of 27 attempts from three-point range and was out-rebounded 52-37 on the night.

The Lady Blues' largest lead of the opening period as six points and they were ahead 26-22 when it ended. The Foresters started the second with a layup by Hiland and three-pointers from Burton and senior guard Kelsey Schmitt to take a four-point lead of their own. Illinois College regained the advantage during a 13-2 run but saw the margin shrink back down to two (39-37) by halftime.

A three-pointer by Forester freshman guard Jaianna Brooks and a layup by Hiland to start the third quarter put the home team on top by three. The visitors responded with nine straight points and did not relinquish the lead again. Lake Forest trailed 58-48 after three quarters and got no closer than six points in the final period.

The loss was the first for the Foresters in four Midwest Conference games this year and the team fell to 4-4 overall. Illinois College improved to 3-6 overall and 1-2 in the league.

Lake Forest will be in action next at the JustAGame Classic in Wisconsin Dells at the end of the month. The Foresters will take on Luther College on Friday, December 29, and the University of St. Thomas the next day. Both contests will begin at 1:00 p.m.