Vikings grind out victory over Monmouth

Lawrence men's basketball action Brad Sendell
Brad Sendell scored 20 points in the Vikings' 60-56 win over Monmouth.

APPLETON, Wis. -- The Lawrence University men's basketball team put on a gritty performance Saturday at Alexander Gymnasium to grind out a 60-56 Midwest Conference victory over Monmouth College.

Brad Sendell led Lawrence (8-6, 5-2 MWC) with 20 points, and Quinn Fisher added 14 points, three assists and three steals.

In a game that featured 45 fouls, including 26 against the Vikings, Lawrence won despite playing long stretches without starters Bryce Denham and Mason Materna.

Will Carius led Monmouth (4-9, 2-4) with 28 points but shot just 9-of-24 from the floor. He also grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.

Neither team led by more than nine points and both teams' largest leads came in the opening half. Monmouth rallied from a 25-16 deficit to lead 29-28 before Lawrence's George Mavrakis hit a half-court 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Vikings a 31-29 lead at the break.

The Vikings quickly built their advantage to 36-29 after scoring the first five points of the second half. The Scots then went on a 10-2 run to take a 39-38 lead with 12:59 remaining, and the game was tight the rest of the way.

The game was tied for the sixth time after Materna's free throw knotted the score at 44-44 with 7:51 left. Lawrence would then lead by as many as five points twice before Tyler Houston's layup cut the margin to 52-49 with 4:41 remaining.

Lawrence then got a pair of key baskets and three defensive stops to take command. Fisher's driving layup put the Vikings up 54-49 with 3:37 left and was sandwiched around three missed 3-pointers by the Scots. Fisher then stole the ball from Jake Rueter and Julian DeGuzman's layup gave the Vikings a 56-49 lead with 1:44 remaining.

Carius answered with a layup for the Scots, and following a Lawrence miss, he hit one free throw to cut the lead to 56-52 with 40 seconds left. The Vikings turned it over against Monmouth's press, and the Scots crept to 56-53 on Houston's free throw with 29 ticks left.

The teams then traded free throws before Mavrakis hit a pair of foul shots with 13 seconds remaining to give the Vikings a 59-54 lead. Carius hit a layup with four seconds left to trim the lead to three, but Sendell made one free throw on the ensuing possession to seal the victory.