The Lawrence University Men’s Basketball team hosted teams near the top of the Midwest Conference, namely the Carroll University Pioneers and the St. Norbert College Green Knights, in two games last Saturday and last Tuesday. Carroll (11-7, 6-5 MWC) has always been considered to be a rival of the Lawrence team, and this year is no different, as both teams are vying for a spot in the conference tournament. Lawrence (8-10, 5-6 MWC) rose to the occasion and won 84-75 behind exceptional performances from seniors Dustin Lee and John Dekker. The two seniors finished with 26 points each after Lee shot 70 percent from the field and Dekker shot 63 percent. Dekker also added a personal milestone to his outstanding Lawrence career by becoming the 20th player in Lawrence history to score 1,000 points. Erik Borresen also had a solid game, notching a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The particularly daunting task of defending against Carroll’s All- American guard John Hoch would prove to define the game. Hoch and junior Paul Grosshuesch each ended the game with 21 points, but their supporting cast did not do enough to overcome the strong performances by Lee and Dekker. The game stayed close in the first half, with the largest lead by either team being Lawrence’s 4-0 lead barely a minute into the game. At the break, the score was 31-29 in favor of the Vikings. In the second half, a quick layup by Hoch tied the game at 31-31, but Lawrence immediately took the lead and would not concede it again. An 8-0 run brought the Vikings’ lead to 45-35 just three minutes into the half, and they parlayed that lead into an 84-75 victory. The following Tuesday, the Lawrence team welcomed nationally ninth-ranked St. Norbert (17-1, 11-0 MWC) into a heated atmosphere at Alexander Gym. The fans came out en masse to support the team and the playing environment was nothing short of excellent. However, the Vikings’ shooting touch was well short of excellent, and the Lawrence team quickly found themselves down 27-9 to the conference-leading Green Knights. While the Vikings would get within nine points of the Green Knights twice in the second half, their poor shooting – 34 overall and 16 percent from long range – kept them from having a chance to topple the Green Knights from the top of the standings. One bright spot in the loss was the play of Borresen, who churned out yet another double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. John Dekker added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Vikings. The Vikings look to turn around their fortunes Friday night, when they host Illinois College, and Saturday, when they host Knox College.