As the old sports adage goes, it's always tough to beat a team three times in a season.
The Muskegon women's basketball team however, made it look relatively easy against Alpena Community College on Friday, downing the Lumberjacks 74-40 at Park Arena.
Muskegon previously beat the Lumberjacks 70-60 in Alpena on Nov. 17 and 70-58 on Nov. 24 in Muskgeon.
News Photo by James Andersen
Alpena’s Ashleigh Monticello (21) tries to drive to the net around Muskegon’s Quaneshia McBride during the first half of a women’s basketball game at Park Arena on Friday.
After fighting back from a fast start by Muskegon, the Lumberjacks cut a nine-point deficit to three at the midway point of the first quarter.
Unfortunately things got worse from there for ACC (2-4).
After Katherine Wollan hit a shot to pull ACC to within three, 17-14, with 9:44 left in the half, the Lumberjacks went without a field goal almost the next 10 minutes until Wollan hit another shot with three seconds left.
In between ACC's scoring drought, the Jayhawks went on an 18-6 run, scoring on the Lumberjacks seemingly from everywhere on the floor. Muskegon pounded the ball inside and also found success shooting the ball from outside, eventually building a 38-20 halftime lead.
"I don't think we got off to a very good start and shots we're falling, we weren't boxing out and once we got down, I feel like we just stayed down," Wollan said.
Lindsey Burnside led Muskegon with 16 points, Jazmyn Good added 14 and Kassondra Kurnat had 10.
The Lumberjacks struggled to maintain possession of the ball during the first half and though their offensive flow improve a little during the second half, ACC committed 19 turnovers for the game. It didn't help that a stifling Jayhawks' defense didn't allow ACC many open looks and outrebounded the Lumberjacks 60-36.
"We came out and it's like getting hit and not hitting back. Whatever we tried, if we punched them, they hit us harder. We have to withstand that punch," ACC head coach Bobby Allen said. "I've got some very strong young ladies and they have to come out and show people they can take a punch."
The Lumberjacks tried several different offensive rotations but couldn't get anything flowing. In comparison, the Jayhawks got stellar efforts from several of their bench players including Jasmine Jackson and Sabri-Carter Latin, who scored six points each.
Amy Nowak led ACC with 10 points and Wollan added eight.
The Jayhawks kept up a heavy scoring pace into the second half and pushed its lead up to 52-25 six minutes into the half after a basket from Latin. ACC once again went without a field goal for a long stretch and couldn't do much to penetrate Muskegon's defense by going up the middle.
"They posted us up and we got behind them when we tried to post up," Allen said. "We have the right ingredients, we just didn't put everything together."
Muskegon jumped out to an 8-0 lead to open the game and pulled ahead 11-2 before the game was three minutes old. ACC fought back and cut Muskegon's lead to three a few minutes later and then pulled to within three again after Wollan's basket. Over the next 9:41, ACC went 4-for-9 on free throws, but went without a field goal.
ACC was 15-of-23 from the line while the Jayhawks were 14-for-23.
The Lumberjacks will play Mid-Michigan next Friday at the Firebird Christmas Classic in Mio.
MUSKEGON (74): Good 5 4-6 14; Kurnat 4 1-2 10; Walsworth 2 4-4 8; Burnside 7 2-4 16; Bahr 2 0-0 5; Latin 2 3-3 6; Hill 1 0-0 2; Collins 0 0-2 0; Christophersen 1 0-0 2; McBride 1 2-2 5; Jackson 3 0-0 6.
ALPENA (40): A. Nowak 3 4-4 10; Seibert 2 1-2 5; Frazier 0 2-5 2; Smith 2 0-0 6; Wollan 4 0-0 8; Burley 0 2-2 2; Monticello 0 2-4 2; E. Nowak 0 1-2 1; Hipkins 0 2-2 2; Cummings 0 0-1 0; Sexton 1 0-0 2.