Men’s basketball loses squeaker, wins blowout

Greg Peterson

The Lawrence men’s basketball
team lost by one point at Grinnell
College last Friday and took out its
frustration on Monmouth College
in a blowout win the next day.
Grinnell (4-11, 3-6 MWC)
looked to be a beatable opponent
for the visiting Vikings (7-9, 4-5
MWC), but the Pioneers’ trademark
up-tempo offense came out strong
and the home team led 44-26 with
six minutes left in the first half.
The difference in styles was
evident from the start, as Grinnell
used 17 different players and
launched 50 shots from beyond
the arc. The Vikings, on the other
hand, played eight-deep and did
not attempt a single three-pointer
in the game.
Grinnell’s reliance on the long
ball would come back to bite the
Pioneers, as the Lawrence team
would cut their lead to two points
before going into the locker room
down by four.
The second half was just as
wild as the first, with a total of
39 turnovers committed by the
two teams. Behind the 21 points
– all on three-point shooting –
of freshman guard Dylan Seeley,
Grinnell held on to a narrow lead
for the entire half. With just three
minutes to play, the Vikings were
down six points and in need of a
strong finish against the rested,
active Pioneers.
Senior John Dekker, who
notched an assist, a steal, a layup
and a rebound in the next 90
seconds, led that finish. However,
the Grinnell defense continued to
press, and the Vikings trailed by
two points when Erik Borresen
stepped to the free-throw line for
two shots with less than a minute
Borresen missed one of his
foul shots, leaving the Vikings still
behind, but redeemed himself by
ripping down a rebound to give the
Vikings the ball, down by one, with
15 seconds left.
Unfortunately, Lawrence was
unable to convert on their set
play, and Grinnell won 90-89 in
the Vikings’ highest-scoring loss
of the year.
Dekker led all scorers with
26 points and junior Jon Mays
trailed only Dekker with 22, while
Borresen added a double-double
with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Fresh off of their loss to
Grinnell and looking to split the
weekend series, the Vikings traveled
to Monmouth College to face
the Fighting Scots (3-6, 4-12 MWC)
the next day.
The Lawrence team jumped
out to a quick lead, leading by
seven at the half behind 53.8-percent
shooting, both overall and
from long distance.
Monmouth came out strong
in the second half, taking the lead
with 14 minutes remaining. Just
four minutes later and with his
team up 59-57, Mays hit a jumper,
sending the Vikings on a 13-1
run from which the Fighting Scots
would not recover.
The Scots fell apart in the final
three minutes of the game, notching
six fouls, six missed shots, and
two turnovers in that period while
only scoring two points. The final
nail in the coffin was the ejection
of Monmouth coach Mark Vershaw
for his second technical foul with
27 seconds left in the game.
By the time the dust cleared,
the Vikings had won 89-65 on the
road behind extremely balanced
scoring. Five Lawrence players –
Borresen, senior guard Dustin Lee,
Dekker, Mays, and senior Tyler
Cullitan – all finished the game
in double-digits, and every Viking
that saw at least five minutes of
court time scored.
With the loss to Grinnell
avenged, the Vikings returned
home, where the team will host
Carroll University Friday afternoon.