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Big second half saves shorthanded Mustangs

Updated: January 20, 2013 1:16AM

Playing without three players who were expected to start this season, host Mundelein outscored Lakes 21-5 to start the third quarter and went on to beat the Eagles 59-49 Tuesday on Day 2 of the Mundelein/Warren tourney.

Both teams are 1-1 in the eight-team event.

Mundelein played without star Robert Knar (out rehabbing after ACL surgery), point guard Nate Williams, and power forward Chino Ebube — the latter two who are expected to return next week.

In their absence, Sean O’Brien (26 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4 assists) and Cliff Dunigan (15 points) stepped up after Lakes led 22-21 at halftime.

“I hope this win settles us down a little bit,” said Mustang coach Richard Knar. “I think with all the anticipation, they played with so much energy last night (a loss to Chicago Uplift), they exhausted themselves.

“With Sean at halftime, we told him, ‘You have to play with energy and play hard, but you have to play smart.’ He slowed down and let the game come to him and got some easy baskets in the second half.”

For Lakes, Jake Kohler had 13 points and nine rebounds. Justin Bergeron had 12 points and six boards.

“It was an issue of poise. With the pressure they bring, we just didn’t handle it well the whole night,” said Lakes coach Chris Snyder. “We had a couple spurts in the fourth quarter, but didn’t play with any poise our composure. “

Mundelein led by 15 in the third quarter, but Lakes got within 47-45 with an 11-0 run.

But Thomas Gandolfi hit a 3-ball for Mundelein and Dunigan hit a layup with 1:59 left to give Mundelein the win.

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