LMC men alone in second

#1, Malik Hall. Photo By: Randy Willis.
#2, Deion Gatson. Photo By: Randy Willis.
#10 Jade Mosier, named Division II NJCAA Player of the Week. Photo By: Randy Willis

LMC men alone in second

Face Ancilla College next

By Tom O’Neill

          Lake Michigan College took care of business Saturday in Muskegon, beating the JayHawks 105-86. The win, fifth in a row for the Red Hawks, gave LMC (7-1/11-8) sole possession of second place in the MCCAA Western Division. It was a big road win for the Hawks, setting up an even bigger game for Wednesday. Ancilla College (8-0/18-1), in first place and ranked second nationally, visits the Napier Avenue campus.

            “Ancilla plays great team ball,” noted LMC Coach Jeremy Schaffer. “We just have to be patient and move the ball.” Schaffer expects a great game. “We just have to play the best we can.”

            The Red Hawks used a balanced scoring attack against Muskegon with five players in double figures. The JayHawks led only once in the game, 9-8, early in the first half. With just 7:04 gone, Muskegon called their first time out to regroup following a James Smith three-pointer. LMC was up 13, 22-9.

            The JayHawks chipped away at the lead, pulling within two, 33-31, before LMC finished the half on a 12-4 run 50-36 lead. For Muskegon, it was an omen of things to come.

            A 9-2 run to open the second half put the JayHawks down 21. Malik Hall took control inside for LMC, scoring seven buckets and a free throw. Gavin Rassler nailed three shots outside the arch and Smith was near perfect at the foul line. Smith hit three of four from the line, finishing five of six for the game.

            “It was definitely a team effort, especially Deion (Gatson) playing on a sprained ankle, noted Schaffer.

            Hall finished with 21 points, Rassler had 20 and Deion Gatson had a double double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Smith added 15 points and Adam Nicks 10.

Fourth quarter collapse drop women to fourth

            There was a log jam atop the Western Division standings beginning Saturday’s action at Muskegon. Ancilla College, Mid-Michigan, Muskegon and LMC all had one loss.

            The Lady Hawks jumped out to an 18-11 first quarter lead, added two more points at halftime, 35-26. Up by 14 points with two minutes remaining, things began to unravel for LMC. The JayHawks outscored the Hawks, 10-3 to end the quarter, LMC leading 57-47.

            Muskegon continued to chip away and finally with 1:30 left, took the lead, 68-66. The Red Hawks couldn’t recover. Muskegon went six for six from the foul line and finished with a 74-68 victory. It was Muskegon’s sixth straight win, including a 68-63 win over 15th-ranked Mid-Michigan on the road.

            Jade Mosier had 22 points and 14 rebounds for Lake Michigan followed by Raasheedah Harris with 16 and Emily Atsinger with 11 points.

Mosier was named NJCAA Player of the Week in Division II for January 15-21. The Buchanan native averaged 25 points a game, 15 rebounds and shot 88.8 percent from the foul line.

            The Lady Hawks (5-2/14-4) still control their own destiny. LMC faces Ancilla (6-1/16-2) Wednesday at home. On February 9 Mid Michigan visits the Hawk’s Nest and then Muskegon, February 26.

            “This one is going to hurt for a little bit,” LMC Coach Patrick Daniel told WSJM sportscaster Phil McDonald. “We’re still right there. Being at home is sweet.” The Hawks are 8-0 on their home court.