Late Comeback at Knox Gives Lake Forest its 10th Straight Win
The Forester men's basketball team extended its winning streak to 10 games by defeating host Knox College 57-54 Tuesday night. Lake Forest senior forward Nate Bateman and senior guard Chris Roets each connected for a lead-changing three-pointer late in the game.
Bateman finished the night with a game-high 17 points and added five rebounds and a pair of steals. He shot 7-for-14 from the field and made three of eight attempts from three-point range. Roets scored nine points and chipped in with three assists.
Sophomore guard James Stack was the only Forester besides Bateman to score in double figures. He finished with a dozen points and matched junior guard Jeff Beck for team-high honors with four assists. Senior post player Travis Clark scored eight points, including two on free throws with 4.5 seconds left in the game, and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Foresters shot just 35 percent (21-of-60) from the field and made only eight of 29 attempts from beyond the arc and seven of nine free throws. Knox made half of their field goal attempts (21-of-42), but just three of 11 three-pointers and nine of 18 foul shots. Lake Forest had a 31-26 edge in rebounds and committed a season-low six turnovers while forcing 11.
Lake Forest led by as many as three points and Knox by six in the opening period. A Prairie Fire three-pointer with 36 seconds on the clock gave the home team a 31-29 lead at halftime.
Knox scored seven straight point early in the second half and later extended the lead to 10 (49-39) on a pair of free throws with 5:19 remaining. Stack began the Forester comeback with a three-pointer, Bateman made a jump shot, and Stack knocked down a pair of free throws to make the score 49-46 with three-and-a-half minutes left. After the home team made one of two free throws on ech of its next two possessions, Bateman connected on a three-pointer to trim the deficit to two points (51-49) with two minutes to play. Lake Forest got the ball back and, after a timeout, Bateman struck again from three-point range to give the visitors a 52-51 lead with approximately a minute to play. The Prairie Fire responded quickly with a basket but Roets long-range shot put the Foresters back on top 55-53. Knox made the first free throw but missed the second with 11.9 seconds on the clock and senior forward Dayton Young grabbed the rebound and called a timeout. The Prairie Fire had one more chance after a Forester missed free throw but turned the ball over. Clark made two free throws with 4.5 seconds left to close out the scoring.
Lake Forest's 10-game winning streak matches the third-longest in team history, trailing only the 11 consecutive victories posted by the 1999-2000 team and the 14-game run that began in the 1914-15 season and ended early the next year.
The Foresters are now 10-1 overall and 6-0 in Midwest Conference play. Knox fell to 3-9 overall and 2-5 in the league.
Lake Forest will play a pair of MWC road games this weekend, taking on Ripon College at 7:00 Friday night and Beloit College Saturday at 4:00 p.m.