Basketball faces Monmouth

It is a busy time to be a Lawrence basketball player. In the thick of their conference season, the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams made the long journey down to Monmouth College for a double header against the Fighting Scots on Saturday, Jan. 7.

The Lawrence University Lady Vikings kicked off the afternoon of basketball at 1 p.m. Monmouth (2-9, 2-4 Midwest Conference [MWC]) got off to a fast start in the first quarter leading by a margin as wide as six points. However, the Lady Vikes surged at the end of the quarter tying the Fighting Scots twice. Monmouth ended the first quarter on top with an 18-16 lead. The second quarter followed a similar theme as Monmouth built up an eight-point lead, 24-16, just over a minute into the quarter. Once again the Lady Vikes fought back going on a 7-0 run over a span of almost three minutes to cut Monmouth’s lead to one. The half ended with Lawrence down just two as the Fighting Scots lead 35-33.

The start of the third quarter featured a tight score until the Lady Vikes’ shooting went cold for over five minutes allowing Monmouth to amass an 11-point lead. Lawrence was able to cut into Monmouth’s lead in the last minutes of the quarter as they entered the fourth quarter down only seven, 53-46. The fourth quarter belonged to the Fighting Scots as they added to their lead eventually winning the game 72-57. The duo of sophomore Leah Reeves and junior Oliva Hoesley lead the Lady Vikes in scoring as they both reached double figures. Reeves put up 14 and Hoesley scored 13 points. Reeves also had seven rebounds in the game. Junior Lauren Delveikis added nine points and dished out four assists. Senior Aubrey Scott also had a solid game, finishing with eight points and seven rebounds. With the loss, the Lady Vikes fell to 2-9 on the season and 0-6 in conference play.

The men followed the women’s game, also taking on Monmouth (2-9, 2-4 MWC). The Vikings got off to a good start scoring the first four points of the game. The first half of the game featured seven ties and one lead change. The Vikings’ largest lead was seven points and Monmouth did not lead until there was less than a minute in the half; however, the half ended in a tie at 31. Lawrence jumped out to a five-point lead within the first minute of the second half. Monmouth lead for about a minute with just over 12 minutes left to go in the game before the Vikings went on a 11-0 run to take the lead by 10 with just under nine minutes left. Lawrence lead by a margin as wide as 11 points with eight minutes remaining, but they were unable to put the Fighting Scots away as Monmouth continued to hang around cutting Lawrence’s lead to just two points on multiple occasions. In the end, the Vikings held on for the 66-62 victory.

Three Vikings scored in double figures: junior Ben Peterson had 14 points in the victory; junior Jeremy Stephani added 12 points; and junior Eric Weiss scored 10. Senior Mitch Willer led the team with eight rebounds in addition to his nine points. The victory improved the Vikings’ record to 4-6 with a conference record of 4-2, good enough for fourth place.

Both teams get about a week off the rest, recover, and improve before hosting Cornell College at Alexander Gymnasium on Friday, Jan. 13. The women start play at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men and 7:30 p.m. They then will have a quick turnaround as Illinois College comes to town for games on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., once again women followed by men. The men will be looking to improve their conference standing as the women look for their first conference win.