Foresters' Furious Comeback Effort Falls Just Short at MWC Tourney

Photo by Abby King
Photo by Abby King

After trailing by as many as 26 points, Lake Forest eventually closed to within just five before falling 66-58 to Monmouth College in Friday's semifinal round of the 2019 Midwest Conference Tournament at Ripon College.

The Foresters came out of the locker room for the second half facing a 41-26 deficit but outscored the Fighting Scots 15-1 in the first 5:11 of the third quarter. Monmouth, however, scored the next four points and had the lead back up to 17 at 54-37 at the end of the period.

A 7-0 Lake Forest run to start the fourth quarter made it a 10-point game but the Foresters were unable to trim the margin to single digits until the final minute of the contest. A three-pointer by senior forward Hannah Hiland with 34 seconds left brought the team within seven and a layup by sophomore guard Jaianna Brooks made the score 63-58 with 22 seconds remaining. The Foresters got no closer, and three Monmouth free throws closed out the scoring and sent the Scots to Saturday's tourney final.

Sophomore guard Kelsey Burton led Lake Forest with 19 points and 10 rebounds. It was her second double-double in a row, sixth this season, and 16th of her career. Hiland was next on the team with 15 points and Brooks added 13 points and three steals. Junior guard Zaria Sydnor dished out a game-high seven assists while Hiland and junior forward Molly Schoenlein each recorded a pair of blocked shots. Schoenlein finished the season with 44 blocks, matching the program record she set a year ago.

Lake Forest shot 27.5 percent from the field and connected on just six of 25 attempts from three-point range. The Foresters were outscored 22-14 at the foul line and were slightly out-rebounded 44-43.

The Foresters finished the season 13-13 while Monmouth takes a 19-7 record into the final.

It was the final collegiate game for Hiland and fellow Lake Forest seniors Hannah O'Day and Tiffany Stiewe.

Lake Forest Falls at Knox
January 26, 2019 Lake Forest Falls at Knox