Men’s basketball split on weekend

Matt Hoh

In the first game Friday night the men took on Grinnell College and lost in a heartbreaker when David Arseneault made one of his two free throws with 0.3 seconds left to take the win from the Vikings 101-100.
However, the Vikings bounced right back with a 25-point victory over Monmouth College Saturday. With the win, the Vikings are 10-5 on the season with a record of 6-2 in the Midwest Conference.
In the loss to Grinnell, the Vikings were not able to stop Bobby Long, who finished the game with 35 points, 16 of which came from the free-throw line. Chris Page led the Vikings with a game high 37 points.
Page also pulled down six defensive rebounds. He commented on his performance, saying, “For me, keys to a good game are staying focused on defense and not allowing inside scores. On offensive it is just to screen and get our shooters open, which will get me in position for layups and post touches.”
As a team, Lawrence did not take a single three-point shot. It was the strategy they had devised to combat the high intensity full-court press for which Grinnell has become known. Even without three-point opportunities, Ryan Kroeger finished the game with 28 points. John Dekker also had a good game with 19 points and a game high nine rebounds.
Saturday was a different story for the Vikings, as they pounded Monmouth 95-70. Kroeger led the team with 30 points. Upon asking him what the keys were to having games like this, he modestly replied, “The key to having a game like this is the other four players on the court. My teammates saw that I was shooting well, and kept screening and passing me the ball.”
The Vikings, holding Monmouth to 47.5 percent from the field and only 28 percent from behind the arc, dominated the defensive side of the game. Page played yet another good game on both sides of the ball racking up seven defensive rebounds and finishing the game with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The Vikings’ next game is against rival Ripon Red Hawks. Kroeger previewed the game, saying, “The key against Ripon is going to be our defensive intensity. We have to come out with urgency and a mind set that nobody can score on us.”
As usual, this game should prove to be a good one, as both teams will leave everything on the court.
After Wednesday’s game, the men go on a four-game road trip. They next return home Feb. 14 when they take on St. Norbert at 4 p.m. The games, as usual, are “free and fun.” Fan attendance also means a lot to the team; as Page commented, “The fans make the atmosphere great in these games and we appreciate all of their support.

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