Fouls Doom Foresters at Monmouth

Photo by Dean Reid,
Photo by Dean Reid,

Freshman guard Sean Espinosa led all players with a career-high 21 points but the Lake Forest College men's basketball team was defeated 76-69 at Monmouth College on Saturday in a battle between two of the three teams entering the day tied atop the Midwest Conference standings.

Espinosa shot 9-for-15 from the field and added four rebounds and four assists in the contest.

With 15 points, senior guard Eric Porter was the only other Forester to score in double figures. He connected twice from beyond the arc and now has a school record 76 three-pointers on the season, surpassing the previous mark of 75 set by Jermaine Williams in 1994-95.

The Foresters shot 47 percent and Monmouth 48 percent from the field in the game. The visitors' six three-pointers were twice the Fighting Scots' total but Lake Forest committed 23 fouls, 10 more than the home team, and were outscored 23-11 from the free throw line. Monmouth had a slight 34-31 edge in rebounds and won the turnover battle 7-13.

After accounting for six of the game's first seven points Lake Forest was outscored 19-5 over the next seven minutes. The Foresters came back and eventually regained the lead on a traditional three-point play with 67 seconds to play in the opening period. The lead changed hands four times in the final minute, which ended after an Espinosa jumper gave the visitors a 37-36 halftime lead.

There were seven more lead changes in the second half, the last when the Scots pulled ahead for good with 8:45 remaining. The Foresters got no closer than four points in the final four-and-a-half minutes. Monmouth made 11 of 16 free throws in the last 96 seconds of the contest to secure the victory.

Both teams are now 11-6 overall this season. Lake Forest fell to 7-3 while the Scots improved to 8-2 in MWC play.

The Foresters will travel to Illinois College on Wednesday for a 5:30 p.m. contest.

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