Big second quarter propels Vikings past Beloit

Lawrence's Nicole Cummins scored 14 points in the Vikings' victory at Beloit.
Lawrence's Nicole Cummins scored 14 points in the Vikings' victory at Beloit.

BELOIT, Wis. -- The Lawrence University women's basketball team pulled away with a big second quarter Saturday and went on to a 71-60 Midwest Conference victory over Beloit College at Flood Arena.

Kenya Earl poured in 21 points, connecting on 13-of-14 free throws, and pulled down eight rebounds to pace the Vikings (7-14, 5-7 MWC). Nicole Cummins added 14 points for Lawrence, and Erin Hill picked up 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Candace Cunningham led Beloit (3-17, 1-12) with 17 points and nine rebounds. 

The game was tied at 14-14 after the first quarter, but the Vikings grabbed the lead for good early in the second. Lawrence took the lead at 17-16 on a Leah Reeves free throw, and the Vikings finished the first half on a 22-9 run. 

The Vikings got back-to-back jumpers from Lauren Deveikis for a 26-18 lead, and Earl followed with the next four points to stretch the lead to 30-20.

Lawrence was up 32-23 after Beloit's Cunningham connected on a jumper, but Cummins answered with a three-pointer. Cunningham then connected on two free throws, but Cummins hit another three-pointer at the buzzer to put Lawrence up 38-25 at the break.

Hill opened the second half with a three-pointer for the Vikings to push the lead to 16, but Beloit closed to 45-36 later in the third. Thanks to four points from Elena Gonzales late in the quarter, Lawrence pushed the lead back to 51-40 heading to the fourth.

Beloit closed to within seven points at 61-54, but the Vikings went 10-for-12 over the final 1:17 to seal the victory.