Men’s basketball in the playoff hunt

Freshman Bryce Denham hits the shot.
Photos by Caroline Garrow

Lawrence University welcomed its students back for winter term 2018 on Tuesday, January 2. As you can imagine, the week was very eventful for students as we settled into our rooms and set our class schedules. The week was also busy for the Lawrence University men’s basketball team. The team is currently in the thick of conference play as they hosted Monmouth College (2-9, 2-4 Midwest Conference [MWC]) on Saturday, January 6.

The team was eager to showcase their skills against Monmouth College in front of an excited LU fan base. The fans brought a lot of energy to the atmosphere as the Vikings jumped off to a great start. The Vikings led the first 20-plus minutes of the game and eventually built a 24-14 lead. Monmouth, not to be outdone, rallied and trimmed the Vikings lead to 29-27. Freshman Bryce Denham woke up the crowd with an unexpected alley-oop dunk from an inbounds play. The highlight play ended the half as the Vikings led 31-28 at the break.

Both teams traded runs in the second half. Monmouth started the second half on an 18-5 run to build a 46-36 lead. Lawrence rallied with a 13-4 outburst. During this run, Denham scored six straight points to trim the margin to 46-42. As a result of a few good plays from our boys, the Vikings cut Monmouth’s lead to 50-49 with 7:59 left in the game. The game followed this back and forth action and with 2:30 minutes left in the game, Lawrence led Monmouth 62-59. Unfortunately, Aluya from Monmouth scored the games final 6 points to win the game and the Vikings fell to Monmouth, 65-62.

Senior Jeremy Stephani and Denham both led the team in scoring with 18 points. Denham recorded his first double double in which he scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. After the loss, the Vikings move to (7-5, 3-3 MWC). The team looks to bounce back during their game at Cornell College on Friday, Jan. 12.