Lakers earn victory in first road test, top MWSU 81-63

Photo Courtesy Kati Doty
Photo Courtesy Kati Doty

ST. JOSEPH, Mo.- Lake Superior State cruised to an 81-63 victor over Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association members Missouri Western on the road Monday night. The victory improves the Lakers' record to 2-0 to start the season as they remain on the road this week, set to face fellow MIAA members Northwest Missouri State on Wednesday.

Five Lakers reached double figures as the team combined for 48.3 percent shooting from the field and hit half of their 18 attempts from behind the arc. The defense also shined for the Lakers, limiting the Griffon's (0-4) to a 36.2 percentage from the floor and just 26.7 percent from three-point range.

Center Michael Nicholson shined in the post for the Lakers, scoring a team-high 18 points (8-for-11 field goals) and hauling in six rebounds in 17 minutes of action. Nicholson also tacked on a block and added a pair of assists as well.

Spelling Nicholson for 20 minutes of reserve duty, senior center Michael Smutny also chipped in 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting and was a perfect 2-for-2 from behind the arc. The combined play of the Lakers' big men helped LSSU double-up MWSU 40-20 on points scored in the paint.

Three other LSSU starters reached double-digits in scoring as Carson Manger scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting (4-of-5 from three), followed by fellow sophomore Blake Marquardt with 11 points and five rebounds, and junior guard Akaemji Williams added 10 points and a game-high eight assists.

Freshman Ke'Montrece Collins chipped in five points and four rebounds off the bench, while Jessy Cantinol added four points and Josh Goldschmidt scored two points, helping the LSSU bench outscore the Griffons' reserves 23-10. Goldschmidt also added a game-high eight rebounds and two assists.

Cole Clearman led MWSU with a game-high 25 points and chipped in six rebounds and four assists.

The Lakers never trailed in the contest and held its largest lead, 26 points, with 7:06 remaining in the second half.

LSSU next travels to Maryville, Mo., to face Northwest Missouri State at 3:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday.