Junior guard Zaria Sydnor scored a season-high 15 points but the Lake Forest College women's basketball team was defeated 70-64 at Monmouth College Wednesday night in a match-up between the top two teams in the Midwest Conference standings.
Sydnor scored seven points during a 13-0 Forester run in the fourth quarter that gave the visitors a 55-52 lead with 5:43 to play in the contest. Lake Forest led by three again with four minutes remaining when the Fighting Scots rattled off eight straight points over the next three-and-a-half minutes. Sydnor ended the run with a basket with 33 seconds left and a a three-pointer by sophomore guard Kelsey Burton made it a two-point game again with 24 seconds to play. Monmouth, however, shot 6-for-8 from the free throw line the rest of the way to secure the victory.
Lake Forest was ahead by as many as four points in the opening quarter before a 17-5 run gave the home team the lead for good. The Scots's advantage reached 14 points in the second quarter but a 7-2 Forester run, capped off by a three-pointer by sophomore guard Jaianna Brooks just before the buzzer, made the score 35-26 at halftime. The visitors scored nine of the first 14 points in the third quarter to close to within two but got no closer. The margin soon reached double figures again and was eight at 47-39 with 10 minutes to play in the contest.
The Foresters's leading scorer on the evening was senior forward Hannah Hiland with 16 points. Burton finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season and junior forward Molly Schoenlein led Lake Forest with 12 boards.
Statistical differences between the teams were slight, with the Scots' 18-10 advantage in made free throws the most significant. They were separated by just one made field goal, one rebounds, and one turnover and both squads connected on six three-pointers.
The teams entered the night with identical 3-0 records in league play. Lake Forest fell to 4-5 while Monmouth improved to 9-0 overall.
The Foresters' next two games will be played next week at the Hoop N Surf Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii. Lake Forest will take on Morningside College on Thursday, December 20, and Mount Marty College the next day.