A perfect night at the free throw line was not enough as the Lake Forest College women's basketball team was edged out 77-75 on a basket with 2.9 seconds left at Illinois College on Friday.
The Foresters set a program record by making all 15 of their foul shots on the evening, including four each from sophomore guard Kelsey Burton and freshman forward Maggie Kersting. Burton threatened to post a triple-double, finishing the contest with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and a game-high seven assists. Teammate Hannah O'Day also recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards while fellow senior forward Hannah Hiland led all players with 22 points on 10-for-13 shooting from the field and grabbed nine rebounds.
Lake Forest also shot fairly well from the floor, nearly matching the Lady Blues' 43.8 percent with a mark of 43.5. The visitors also connected on 6 of 15 three-pointers while Illinois College was 8-for-28. The Foresters had a 42-34 edge on the boards but committed 17 turnovers while forcing just 11.
An 11-0 run by the Foresters in the first quarter turned a three-point deficit into an eight-point lead and the visitors were ahead 25-18 when the period ended. The Lake Forest lead grew to as many as 11 points in the second but Illinois College scored 15 of the game's next 17 points to pull ahead by two. A three-pointer by O'Day in the final 10 seconds gave Lake Forest a 44-43 advantage and the Foresters' highest-scoring first half of the season.
There were six ties and three lead changes in the third quarter and the Lady Blues held a 62-59 lead at its conclusion. A basket by Burton gave the Foresters a one-point lead with 6:52 to play but the home team answered with a basket that just beat the shot clock. A layup by Hiland put Lake Forest on top by one again with four minutes to play but a four-point play from the home team a minute-and-a-half later gave Illinois College a 74-71 advantage. The Foresters trailed 75-71 before a basket by Hiland and a pair of free throws from Burton tied the score with 1:17 to play. A steal by sophomore guard Jaianna Brooks gave Lake Forester the ball and an offensive rebound by Burton gave the visitors a second chance to take the lead but they were unable to do so. The Blues scored the game-winner on a basket with just 2.9 seconds on the clock and the Foresters were unable to answer at the buzzer.
The loss evened Lake Forest's overall record at 9-9 and dropped its Midwest Conference mark to 8-3. Illinois College improved to 7-11 overall and 3-8 in the league.
The Foresters will be back in action again Saturday afternoon at Knox College. The game will begin at 1:00 p.m.