Lakers Bring Down Upper Iowa to Advance to Midwest Regional Final

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Lake Superior State (LSSU) basketball program (23-8) are dancing their way to the Midwest Regional Championship game after a thrilling 88-80 victory over the Upper Iowa Peacocks (22-10) on Sunday.

“Hard fought game both ways,” said LSSU Head Coach Steve Hettinga. “Upper Iowa is a great team, and it’s a unique game with one day of prep. Both teams are probably trying to figure out what works best for them against a very tough matchup. I keep trying to tell myself that we’re a tough matchup too, and our guys went out there and proved that today.”

Kingsley Perkins (Ypsilanti, Mich.) opened up the scoring for the Lakers with a jumper from the inside, and Tyson Edmondson (Ypsilanti, Mich.) followed it up with a three to put the Lakers up 5-0. The Peacocks countered with a 12-0 run of their own, but the Lakers have been no stranger to clawing their way out of a deficit, storming back with a 17-2 run of their own behind several buckets in the paint from Perkins and Devin Womack (Ypsilanti, Mich.) to put LSSU back in front. However, Upper Iowa kept fighting back, never seeming to go away, and as the halftime buzzer sounded, the Peacocks were able to connect on a heave from half court to cut the lead down to two at the break.

“That was a crazy shot, but even when stuff like that happens, we just have to stay calm,” said Edmondson.

Both teams continued to score the ball well to open up the second half, but a pair of threes from Edmondson and Xander Okerlund (Empire, Mich.) helped hold the Peacocks at bay. Upper Iowa was able to trim the lead back down to four with just under 14 minutes to play, but the Lakers would once again respond with timely shots from Okerlund and Hunter Soper (Lexington, Mich.) to push back ahead by as many as 9 points. The Peacocks continued to chip away, but LSSU was ready every time they got close, never allowing them to take the lead in the second half as the Lakers closed out the game at the free throw line to punch their ticket to the regional final.

All five Laker starters once again finished the night in double figures, led by the Ypsilanti trio of Edmondson (23pts), Perkins (20pts), and Womack (18pts) with Perkins also securing 7 rebounds and blocking 4 shots while Womack dished out 5 assists. Meanwhile, Soper ended the night with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals while Okerlund scored 10 points of his own to round out the starting lineup.

The Lakers will now turn their attention to an all GLIAC Regional Final against the Ferris State Bulldogs on Tuesday, March 19 with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m.

Sports Team

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