Thanks in part to a season-high 17 points and seven assists from senior guard Kelsey Schmitt, the Forester women's basketball team hosted and defeated Monmouth College 78-68 Wednesday night.
Schmitt, who entered the game with 23 points and seven assists on the year, also matched her season-high with five rebounds and committed just one turnover in 34 minutes of play, which included time at shooting guard and point guard. She was 6-for-13 from the field, 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, and 3-for-3 from the foul line.
Three other Foresters also reached double figures in points, led by junior forward Hannah Hiland's 18. Hiland was 6-for-10 from the field, made both of her attempts from three-point range, and added six rebounds. Junior forward Hannah O'Day and freshman guard Kelsey Burton finished with 15 points apiece and Burton tied for game-high honors with eight rebounds.
Lake Forest shot a season-high 50 percent from the floor and continued its efficiency at the foul line, connecting on 13 of 15 attempts. The team exceeded 80 percent from the line for the third straight game and sixth time this season and raised its free throw percentage on the year to exactly .750. The Foresters also limited Monmouth to just 39.4 percent shooting from the field. Both teams grabbed 35 rebounds and turnovers were nearly even with the Fighting Scots committing 16 and Lake Forest 15.
The Foresters fell behind by as many as six points in the opening period but closed to within one at 18-17 by the time it ended. A basket by freshman forward Emily Argersinger to start the second quarter gave the home team its first lead of the game and a jumper by O'Day with 6:52 remaining in the half put Lake Forest on top for good. A layup by Burton and a traditional three-point play by Hiland closed out the quarter with the Foresters ahead 36-29.
A 10-point Lake Forest run early in the second half extended the lead to a game-high 14 points but the Fighting Scots trimmed the margin back to single digits at 58-50 with 10 minutes to play. After scoring the final two points of the third quarter, Monmouth began the fourth with a pair of three-pointers to make it a two-point game. The Foresters' lead was a mere two points again at 65-63 before they put the game out of reach with a 13-2 run that included two three-pointers and two free throws from Hiland and three assists by Schmitt.
Lake Forest is now 5-6 overall this season and 4-1 in Midwest Conference play. Monmouth fell to 5-7 overall and 2-3 in the league.
The Foresters will travel to Ripon College on Saturday to take on the other first-place team in the conference. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.