Lawrence sinks Lakers

Lawrence men's basketball action Bryce Denham
Bryce Denham (23) poured in 26 points in Lawrence's 81-79 victory over Silver Lake.

APPLETON, Wis. -- The Lawrence University men's basketball team got a key defensive stop in the final seconds Tuesday and posted an 81-79 nonconference victory over Silver Lake College at Alexander Gymnasium.

Bryce Denham poured in 26 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds to lead Lawrence (2-3). Brad Sendell added 20 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Vikings, and Mason Materna had 14 points and four assists.

Michael Cantre paced the Lakers (1-9) with a double-double of 27 points and 16 rebounds.

Lawrence looked like it was pulling away after the Vikings scored six consecutive points on baskets by Sendell, Quinn Fisher and Denham to build a 75-60 lead with 8:50 remaining. Silver Lake began chipping away at the advantage, but the Vikings were still up eight at 79-71 following a Denham layup with 3:00 left.

A pair of Fisher free throws with 1:47 remaining gave Lawrence an 81-75 lead, but the Lakers got a pair of free throws from Corey Lloyd and two more from Cantre after a Lawrence miss to cut the lead to 81-79 with 45 seconds left.

Lawrence turned it over with 19 seconds left, and Silver Lake went for the tie as Patrick Walls drove into the lane. His shot was blocked by Denham, but Walls got the ball back. Lawrence defenders converged and stripped the ball from Walls as time expired to preserve the win.

Lawrence jumped out to an early six-point edge, but Silver Lake rallied and would build an eight-point edge in the first half at 34-26. The Vikings scored eight consecutive points, capped by Sendell's three-point play, to tie the game at 34-34.

The Lakers scored the next five points, but a 3-pointer by Fisher and two free throws apiece from Sendell and Fisher tied the game at 41-41 at the break.

Lawrence took charge over the first 11-plus minutes of the second half. The Vikings had a four-point edge at 58-54 when Materna buried a 3-pointer, and George Mavrakis and Sendell followed with layups for a 65-54 lead.

Silver Lake trimmed the lead back to 66-58, but the Vikings went on a 9-2 run with five points coming from Sendell to take a 75-60 lead, their biggest advantage of the game.