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Women’s basketball loses squeaker, blowout

Erik Borresen

The Lawrence University women’s basketball team trekked into the depths of Iowa and Illinois last weekend, losing to Grinnell and Monmouth Colleges in a pair of Midwest Conference battles.
Though the Vikings have yet to notch a victory this year, any fan in attendance Friday night at Grinnell’s Darby Gymnasium would have guessed otherwise. Lawrence played together and kept the game close by minimizing turnovers and out-working their taller opponents’ deeper bench to claim a 25-22 halftime lead.
The Pioneers pulled away, jumping out to a nine-point lead midway through the second half. However, the Vikings fought back to narrow the deficit to 40-38 thanks to an 11-2 run with just seven minutes left in the game.
The Pioneers widened the gap to 47-38 with just under five minutes to play, but senior Katie Condon’s back-to-back three-pointers brought the Vikings back into striking distance with 2:12 to go. After a pair of made free throws by Grinnell, Alex Deshler hit a jumper to make the score 49-46 with 1:47 remaining.
A combination of a Grinnell layup, a Lawrence turnover, and the Pioneers’ ability to hit one of each pair of free throws put the Vikings away for good with the final score 53-46.
Deshler and Condon led the way for the Vikings with 13 and 12 points, respectively, in the losing effort. Sophomore Nakita Chadwick grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds for the night.
Saturday’s matchup against the Monmouth College Scots (8-4, 6-2 MWC) was a different story than Friday night’s intense matchup. The Scots took the lead early thanks to a 12-0 run, holding the Vikings scoreless for the first five minutes of the game.
The game quickly became out of reach for Lawrence thanks to the Scots’ Colleen Forrest, who broke a school record with eight three-pointers. The Scots led 42-13 at the break and went on to lead by as much as 43 points in the second half, winning 75-39.
Chadwick led the Vikings with 11 points and 5 rebounds, while Katie Van Es contributed eight points and nine rebounds as the Vikings (0-12, 0-7 MWC) took their 49th consecutive conference loss.
The Vikings will have ample opportunity to stop their losing streak at home, though, as they will enjoy a four-game homestand over the next two weeks. They will next match up with Knox College 7 p.m. Friday before hosting Grinnell 3 p.m. Saturday.