First-half burst gives Grinnell victory over Vikings

Lawrence returns to Alexander Gymnasium on Saturday when the Vikings play Monmouth at 1 p.m.
Lawrence returns to Alexander Gymnasium on Saturday when the Vikings play Monmouth at 1 p.m.

GRINNELL, Iowa -- The Grinnell College men's basketball team pulled away over the final seven minutes of the first half Saturday and went on to a 137-99 Midwest Conference victory over Lawrence University at Darby Gymnasium.

Grinnell turned a four-point lead with 7:34 left in the first half into an 18-point lead advantage at halftime. The Pioneers quickly pushed that lead to 29 points in the first seven minutes of the second half, and the Vikings never threatened after that.

Jeremy Stephani paced Lawrence (5-2, 2-2 MWC) with 17 points and six assists. Quinn Fisher and rookie Bryce Denham had13 points apiece for the Vikings. Lawrence center Dylan Hamlin chipped in with nine points and five rebounds, and Evan McLaughlin added eight points and a game-high eight rebounds.

Vinny Curta heaved up 26 shots and finished with 36 points as he also converted 10-of-11 from the foul line for Grinnell (7-2, 2-2). Ky-Sean Johnson finished with 28 points for the Pioneers, and he also went 10-for-11 from the free-throw line.

Grinnell went 22-for-55 from beyond the arc to shoot 40 percent, and the Pioneers went 33-for-44 from the foul line as Lawrence was whistled for an inexplicable 35 fouls.