Blue Angels fall in heated battle

Release Courtesy of Mount Mary Athletics

MILWAUKEE – Emotions ran high Tuesday evening at the Bloechl Center for the Blue Angels' battle against Silver Lake College, but the Lakers used a big second half push to earn a physical 78-60 road victory.

In game that featured 41 total fouls, two technical fouls and three players disqualified with five personal fouls, this rivalry of sorts was as heated as the first encounter—the Blue Angels were motivated to better their previous performance against Silver Lake, which completely dominated the teams' 84-45 decision in mid-December.

This time around, Mount Mary began with much more intensity and surged to a 15-8 lead just seven minutes into the first half. The Blue Angels would lead by as many as eight—up 25-17 at the 7:09 mark in the first half—as the Lakers struggled to maintain their composure against the scrappy hosts.

Chasing a 32-25 deficit with just over four minutes to go before half, Silver Lake chipped away at the Mount Mary lead, closing to within one at the 3:22 mark. Over the final 1:17, the Lakers used a pair of layups and a clutch three-pointer to surge into a 43-39 lead at the break.

Failing to convert on a pair of technical foul free-throw opportunities with no time remaining right before the half, the Blue Angels just couldn't garner any momentum after halftime as Silver Lake opened on an 8-3 run. A jumper by freshman guard Phoenix Hulsey (Wauwatosa, Wis.) cut the lead to five, 51-46, but it was as close as MMU would get—a responding 15-0 Laker run though the greater middle of the half would earn the visitors a gritty victory.

Despite the loss, Mount Mary did show incredible balance offensively for really the second time this season—the other coming in its victory over Illinois Tech last week. All seven Blue Angels scored at least six points Tuesday evening, with the tandem of senior Emily Barker (Oconomowoc, Wis.) and freshman Taylor Baumgart(Burlington, Wis.) leading with 16 and 10 respectively.

Barker also tallied 10 rebounds—six on the offensive glass—to record her second straight double-double of the season.

The Blue Angels will return to action next Monday, traveling to Jacksonville, Ill., to take on the Highlanders of MacMurray College. The 7 p.m. matchup will be the final game for Mount Mary seniors Barker and Ashley Leverenz (Mauston, Wis.) who, upon graduating last December, complete their eligibility prior to the debut of second semester academics.

The duo was also recognized for their outstanding efforts this season prior to Tuesday's game against Silver Lake.