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Basketball: Gators hold off Rams' late rally
Ridgewood tries to take control when Kayli Keough leaves late in the fourth quarter, but Land O'Lakes holds on for the win.
By IZZY GOULD
Published December 12, 2007
LAND O'LAKES - Turns out Kayli Keough is all right.
The Land O'Lakes star and Florida State signee simply suffered a leg cramp before leaving Tuesday's game against Ridgewood with more than five minutes left and an 18-point lead.
The cushion was enough to fight off Ridgewood's relentless frenzy in a 45-34 victory.
"If it hadn't been for my assistant coaches, I would have put her back in," Land O'Lakes coach Laurie Pacholke said of Keough. "It was good for us to battle through something without her."
The Rams (6-3) went on an 8-1 run to cut the deficit to nine thanks to full-court pressure and forcing timely turnovers. Finishing was the issue.
Ridgewood coach Greg Bollinger said the Rams were 15-of-55 from the field. Combined with the absence of center Jen Daun, out with the pneumonia, the Rams simply needed more scoring than Brittany Brosnan's team-high 10 points.
"We tried the up-tempo stuff, and we missed a lot of shots," Bollinger said. "I was pleased with how hard we played."
This night was set up for Keough to stand out. Land O'Lakes (9-1) honored her prior to the game for scoring her 1,000th point last week, and Pacholke presented the ball.
Keough was impressive defensively, blocking shots, grabbing steals and forcing turnovers. She also led all scorers with 20 points before she went down.
"I was fine," Keough said. "We could have played better. We need to stay composed."