Vikings pull away late to bounce Knox

Lawrence men's basketball action Brad Sendell
Brad Sendell scored 25 points in Lawrence's 78-58 win over Knox.

APPLETON, Wis. -- The Lawrence University men's basketball team pulled away over the final eight minutes Wednesday to notch a 78-58 Midwest Conference win over Knox College at Alexander Gymnasium.

Brad Sendell poured in 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds to pace the Vikings (3-1, 1-0 MWC). Brandon Danowski added 17 points as he hit 7-of-8 shots from the floor, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Danowski also added seven rebounds.

Mason Materna chipped in with 13 points for the Vikings, and Quinn Fisher had seven points and a game-high six assists. The Vikings also got nice contributions from Julian DeGuzman with nine rebounds and four points and Troy Mikaelian with five points, four assists and two rebounds.

Zach Lowe finished with 16 points and nine rebounds to pace Knox (2-3, 0-1).

Lawrence went on a 14-6 run over the final five minutes of the first half to build a 31-23 lead at the break. The Vikings kept that momentum going at the start of the second half and outscored the Prairie Fire 14-4 over the first 3:38 of the second half.

Danowski had five points in that stretch and Materna hit a 3-pointer as the Vikings grabbed a 45-27 lead with 16:22 left.

Knox chipped away at the lead and trimmed the margin to 54-45 with 8:35 remaining on Malcolm Bray's layup. Sendell took charge for the Vikings as he scored the game's next six points to give Lawrence a 60-45 lead with 7:12 remaining. Matthew Brend knocked down a pair of free throws to complete an 8-0 Lawrence run for a 62-45 edge.

Lawrence pushed the lead to 18 at 66-48 on a pair of Sendell free throws before Knox put together a small rally. The Prairie Fire cut the lead back to 66-54 with 4:21 left, but Bryce Denham countered with a layup and Sendell buried a 3-pointer to push the margin back to 71-54.

Knox didn't get closer than 17 points after that.

After starting slow, the Vikings shot 51.1 percent from the floor by going 23-of-45. Lawrence hit 11-of-21 shots (52.4 percent) from beyond the arc. Lawrence also went 21-for-27 from the foul line, including a 10-for-10 night from Sendell.