Men’s Basketball faces tough competition

Stephen Exarhos

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
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
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.