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Senior forward K.C. Stralka poured in a career-high 25 points to lead the Forester women's basketball team to an 81-74 victory at Beloit College Wednesday night.
Stralka, whose previous career-high was 19 points, made 11 of 17 field goal attempts, including her only shot from three-point range, and added seven rebounds. She was 8-for-11 from the field with 19 of the Foresters' 42 points after halftime.
Forester sophomore guard Kelsey Schmitt also set a new career-high in points with 17 and junior guard Tara Gloystein added 11 to go with a team-high nine rebounds.
Lake Forest was efficient on offense, shooting a season-high 50 percent from the field. The Foresters connected on five of nine shots from three-point range and 18 of 23 free throws. The visitors also had a slight 36-33 edge in rebounds.
The Foresters led by as many as seven points in the first quarter, which ended with the visitors leading 21-17. The margin fluctuated between two and six points throughout the second quarter, which ended with Lake Forest leading 39-35. Schmitt led all players with 13 points in the first half.
Stralka scored 10 of the Foresters' 14 points during a five-minute span early in the second half and the lead grew to 11 points by the end of the third quarter. Beloit scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter to make the score 57-55 with seven-and-a-half minutes to play. Stralka ended the run with a three-pointer but the Bucs pulled to within a single point with 5:53 left. Behind nine fourth-quarter points by Stralka and seven for junior forward Brittany Avonts, Lake Forest did not relinquish the lead. However, the Foresters were unable to put the game away until Avonts, sophomore guard Abby Carlson, Gloystein, and Schmitt combined to shoot 8-for-8 from the foul line in the game's final 45 seconds.
The victory evened Lake Forest's overall record at 5-5 and improved the team's Midwest Conference mark to 4-2. Beloit fell to 5-7 overall and 3-4 in the league.
The Foresters will continue conference play Saturday afternoon at Illinois College. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:00.