Men’s Basketball beats Florida opponents, Beloit

Andy King

Men’s basketball traveled to the Sunshine State for a pair of games against Trinity College and Florida College over the holiday break.
Facing Trinity first, the Vikings came out strong in the opening minutes, jumping out to a lead of 19-6 before Trinity rallied, closing the gap to 27-23 by halftime. John Dekker hit four three-pointers after the break, helping the Vikings build up a 16-point lead during the second half.
Dekker led Lawrence in scoring with 19 points and snagged nine rebounds, while Erik Borresen led the team with 10 rebounds and scored 15 points for his first career double-double. Dustin Lee, now recovered from a broken hand, and Tyler Crisman each added 10 more points for the Vikes.
The lead seemed less them safe, as the Tigers fought back to cut it to 57-51. However, the Vikings foul shooting proved to be the difference in the closing minutes as Jamie DeMatthew went 6-6 from the line and Crisman went 5-5. DeMatthew had nine assists, six points, and five rebounds. By the time the buzzer sounded, the score was 72-58.
The next night, the Vikings completed their sweep of Sunshine State teams by thrashing Florida. Dekker, Lee, Borresen, Crisman, and Conor Klusendorf all hit double figures for points. Klusendorf’s 10-point effort was a career high, as was Yui Ueno’s eight-point game.
The Vikings began pulling away over the final seven minutes of the first half and led 46-27 at the break.
The Falcons tried to press and trap against Lawrence, but the Vikings broke the pressure for open baskets or pull-up 3-pointers. As a result, Lawrence notched 21 assists while only turning the ball over 13 times.
The Vikings went 35-65, .538, from the field and 13-29, .448, from beyond the arc as they cruised to a 96-52 victory. The 44-point win was Lawrence’s biggest margin of victory since a 53-point routing of Goucher College back in 2005.
Returning after a few weeks off, the Vikings’ rust was evident as Lawrence took on Beloit last Tuesday. The Vikings had won their 15 previous meetings against the Buccaneers, but they had to work extra hard to beat Beloit and extend the streak to 16.
In a low-scoring game, Lawrence posted an under par .328 shooting percentage and only sank five three-pointers, but Beloit also failed to reach 40 percent shooting, and despite Lawrence’s halftime lead, the Buccaneers only trailed the Vikings by four with under a minute to play.
However, Lawrence dug deep on defense, holding the Buccaneers from scoring in the final 30 seconds. The final score was 59-52, with the Vikings getting 43 of their 59 points from Dekker, Crisman and Lee.
The Vikings take on Monmouth College Friday, Jan. 15. at Alexander Gym with a tipoff time of 7 p.m. Lake Forest will travel to Alexander Gym Saturday with a tipoff scheduled for 4 p.m.