Cold shooting leads to men’s hoops’ split

Jared Padway

The Vikings drove down to Illinois for a two-game road trip last weekend, where they held on to win 49-45 against the Lake Forest Foresters Friday night but couldn’t keep the momentum going against the Illinois College Blue Boys as they lost 79-60 Saturday.
Lawrence began the road trip with a hot hand, jumping out to a 14-2 lead in the first 6:10 of Friday night’s contest against Lake Forest (8-10, 6-7 MWC).
The Vikings were able to extend their lead to 17 points at the end of the first half, thanks to some continued hot shooting as well as smothering defense.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, the Foresters seemed poised to change the momentum after the break. In the final 20 minutes of play, the Vikings shot just 27.3 percent from the field, allowing the Foresters to fight their way back into the game.
The Forester comeback began with a 15-1 run to start the second half, which resulted in a 30-27 Viking lead with 15:25 remaining. However the lead was then pushed back up to eight points after Jon Mays hit a mid-range jump shot and Tyler Crisman made a huge three-pointer.
Both teams continued to battle throughout the second half, and the Vikings found themselves up 48-44 with 2:55 left to play after Crisman sunk a couple of clutch free throws.
The stout defense continued until the end of regulation, as the Foresters had one last chance to tie the game with a three-pointer. However, it did not fall for the home team and Vikings freshman Chris Siebert put the game out of reach with a free throw with 17 seconds remaining.
Tyler Crisman was the only Viking in double digits in Friday night’s low-scoring contest, scoring 23 of the Vikings’ 49 points on the way to the victory.
The Vikings’ poor shooting from Friday night’s game carried over into Saturday’s contest against the Illinois College Blueboys (13-6, 9-5 MWC), but this time, the defense didn’t keep them in the game and the Vikings never led.
A slow Vikings start saw them down 23-11 with 7:59 remaining in the first half, but eventually the shots began to fall and the Vikings brought the game to 37-29 at half.
The Vikings were able to draw as close as four points on two separate occasions in the second half, but after an 8-0 Blueboys run resulting in a 12-point deficit with 14:09 remaining, the Vikings never able to recover.
Illinois College’s Nathan Kohler kept the game at a distance for the Vikings, finishing with 31 points and shooting 7-9 from three-point range.
Senior center Erik Borresen was upset about the loss, saying, “We just weren’t hitting our shots in the beginning of the game, and Nathan Kohler just wouldn’t miss.”
The Vikings will be back at it Saturday as they travel to play against the Beloit College Buccaneers (8-11, 7-7 MWC).