The Lawrence University men’s basketball team snapped their school-record tying 13-game winning streak with a loss to eighth place Monmouth last weekend. However, the Vikings got right back in the swing of things this past Tuesday, as they handed St. Norbert the worst MWC loss in its history.The Vikings started out last weekend against Knox. The Vikings marched out shooting 50 percent from the field in the first half. The Prairie Fire was completely out matched, and LU took an easy 38-25 lead at the half. The second half was no different as LU and Knox traded baskets back and forth. Knox never got closer then five points from the lead however, and LU went on to win 81-69. Brendan Falls had a big game for the Vikings. The junior led all scorers with 23 points, including five three pointers. Chris MacGillis came off the bench and gave LU great minutes scoring 22 points. Chris Braier had 14, and Dan Evans also had 12 for the Vikings.
Saturday afternoon in Monmouth was a different story for the Vikings. LU had defeated the Scots by over 30 points when the two teams played in Alexander Gym two weekends before. However the Scots were ready for revenge in this game. Monmouth came out and played well in the first half, not allowing LU to run all over them like they did in the prior game. The Scots in fact had a lead at the half, 28-27. The Vikings only shot 27.5 percent in the first half while the Scots shot 45 percent. In the second half, the Vikings stormed back. The Vikings would taker a five-point lead before Tyler Snyder took over for the Scots. Snyder scored 11 of his 22 points in the last 4:00 of regulation and brought Monmouth back into the lead. Braier had to hit two key free throws to bring the game into overtime, where Monmouth wasn’t to be stopped. The Scots dominated LU in overtime, and won their second conference game of the year 93-85. Braier’s 32 points led the Vikings, but it wasn’t enough to offset Snyder and Troy Bennett who had 20.
The Vikings came home Tuesday night knowing that had to make a showing after their poor performance in their last game. The Vikings ranking had dropped from 10th in the country to 16th, and they were only a half game ahead of Grinnell for first place in the MWC. The Vikings were playing St. Norbert, who was in fourth place in the MWC, and who the Vikings had beaten by 9 in their first meeting in DePere.
The Vikings came out all over the Green Knights from the start. With the game tied 5-5 in the early moments, the Vikings would go on a 15-1 run bringing the score to 20-6 in no time. The Vikings were picking the Green Knights pockets all night, getting many easy layups off of steals. The Vikings would get 20 steals for the game, their best night of the season. From there the Vikings offense continued working, and the Green Knights couldn’t hit anything. The best two players for St. Norbert has a combined nine points at half time, and the Vikings had a huge lead 47-29.
The second half wouldn’t get any better for the Green Knights. Their Division one transfer Brandon Hanson would finally heat up going 5-5 in the second half, but he couldn’t pull the Green Knights any closer then 11 points. The Vikings only shot 45 percent for the game, but had 20 steals and multiple layups off of the steals. The Vikings would continue to put on the pressure, and even the end of the Vikings bench would enter the game and get points. The Final score was Lawrence 85, St. Norbert 50. It was the Green Knights worst Midwest Conference loss since joining the MWC 23 years ago.
The Vikings had an all around excellent effort. Chris MacGillis led the Vikes with 26, Rob Nenahlo had 16, and Kyle MacGillis had 10. The first place Vikings are next in action tonight when they host Lake Forest, and tomorrow when they host Illinois College. Game time is 7:30 tonight and 4:00 tomorrow afternoon. Both games can be heard on 91.1 WLFM, or via webcast.