Finlandia women can’t hold ball, lead

HANCOCK – The Finlandia University women’s basketball team did some good things against Lakeland College Tuesday afternoon.

Unfortunately, taking care of the basketball wasn’t one of them.

“We had a real shot at beating this team,” Lions’ coach Terry Klemett said after his team’s 71-61 defeat at Paavo Nurmi Gym. “But we just turned the ball over too many times.”

The locals committed a total of 26 turnovers – a far cry from recent games.

“We’ve been averaging only 12 or 13 (turnovers) a game,” Klemett said. “The kids played hard today, but we didn’t value our possessions, we threw the ball around the gym.”

Despite the size advantage of the visitors, the much smaller Lions managed a surprising 41-37 edge on the boards. Much of that came through the efforts of the hard-working Marissa Burke, who collected a game-leading 19 rebounds.

“She (Burke) did a great job under the basket,” Klemett said.

Finlandia may have suffered a greater loss when senior forward Hailey Gervais left the game late with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury.

That leaves Klemett with just six players, although he expects to get back center Adrianna Osuna in a couple of weeks.

Lakeland took the early lead behind Leah Eisner’s play, but the Lions came back to seize a 37-35 halftime lead.

Lakeland stayed even in the second half as Eisner and Vashia Gordon, both 6-foot-1, provided a presence inside.

The Lions took their last lead at 61-60 on a three-point basket by Mikayla Hakala with 3:43 left.

Trista Barron, the former Escanaba High product, nailed a three-pointer shortly afterward to give the Muskies the lead for good at 63-61. LC closed the game with an 11-0 run.

Now 3-9 on the season, FU was led by Burke with 14 points and 19 boards. She also picked up five assists and five steals.

Brierra Ruska also totaled 14 points, while Hakala totaled 13 more. Gervais had 11 points before leaving. Paige Yoho managed seven points, five assists and five steals.

Eisner led the 5-6 Muskies with 20 points. Bailey Grayvold was next with 14 and Gordon chipped in 10 more.

The Lions will host College of St. Scholastica Saturday afternoon in their next action.