Vikings fall after late rally by Ripon

Lawrence men's basketball action Bryce Denham
Bryce Denham paced Lawrence with 18 points in the loss to Ripon.

APPLETON, Wis. -- The Lawrence University men's basketball team went cold over the final five minutes Wednesday, and Ripon College got hot and pulled away for an 80-67 Midwest Conference victory at Alexander Gymnasium.

Lawrence led for a stretch of nearly 30 minutes until Ripon took the lead for good with 4:36 left. The Red Hawks finished the game on a 20-4 run to take the victory.

Bryce Denham paced Lawrence (7-6, 4-2 MWC) with 18 points, six rebounds and three assists. Brad Sendell added 11 points, three assists and two steals for the Vikings, and Mason Materna had 10 points and five rebounds.

Cal Schultz led Ripon (6-6, 3-2) and all scorers with 26 points and nine rebounds. Trent Jones added 16 points and eight rebounds for Ripon.

Lawrence led 56-49 after Julian DeGuzman's layup with 10:58 remaining, but Ripon went on an 11-4 run to tie the game at 60-60 with 7:34 left. Materna answered with a 3-pointer for the Vikings, but Jones hit a triple, and Tyson Tully's jumper gave Ripon a 65-63 lead.

Denham's driving layup tied the game at 65-65, but Ripon scored the game's next 10 points to pull out to a 75-65 lead. Lawrence missed three shots in that stretch and committed a pair of turnovers.

A pair of free throws from Sendell cut the lead to 75-67 with 1:43 left, but that's as close as the Vikings would get.

Lawrence asserted itself early and kept the Red Hawks at arm's length throughout the first half. Lawrence led 15-14 before Denham's 3-pointer and baskets from Abhishek Venkatesh and George Mavrakis put the Vikings up 22-14 with 9:34 left in the opening half.

Lawrence pushed that lead to as many as 11 points in the first half, the final time at 38-27 on Materna's layup with 1:10 left. Ripon scored the final four points to cut the lead to 38-31 at the break.