Vikings dominate the paint in victory over Maranatha Baptist

Lawrence women's basketball Moreau Halliburton action
Lawrence's Moreau Halliburton (23) scored eight points in the Vikings' 69-49 win over Maranatha Baptist.

APPLETON, Wis. -- The Lawrence University women's basketball team dominated the paint on Tuesday as the Vikings pulled away for a 69-49 nonconference win over Maranatha Baptist University at Alexander Gymnasium.

Kenya Earl paced Lawrence (2-2) with 18 points, and she pulled down a game-high nine rebounds while picking up three assists and three steals. Shonell Benjamin added 11 points, three rebounds and three assists for the Vikings.

Erin Hill, Leah Reeves and a pair of rookies, Moreau Halliburton and Karina Herrera added eight points apiece, and Liz Jonjak handed out a career-high eight assists for Lawrence.

Callie Morrison led Maranatha (0-1) and all scorers with 19 points, and Kelsey Johnson had 10 points and nine rebounds.

Lawrence dominated down low with its group of post players, Earl, Reeves, Benjamin, Halliburton and Herrera. The Vikings scored 48 points in the paint, compared to just 10 for the Sabercats. Lawrence shot 50.8 percent for the game, including 58.3 percent in the second half.

The Vikings led 37-29 at the half, but Maranatha trimmed the lead to 43-39 on Johnson's 3-pointer with 3:11 left in the third quarter. The Vikings responded by scoring the final nine points of the quarter on layups from Halliburton and Maggie Gallagher, a 3-pointer from Benjamin and an Earl layup to take a 52-39 lead after three.

Lawrence kept that run going to start the fourth quarter, and the Vikings ended up scoring 20 consecutive points to build a 63-39 advantage with 4:42 left in the game. Earl finished with nine points in that outburst and Benjamin added five.

The Sabercats didn't get closer than 19 points the rest of the way.

Lawrence got off to a good start for the second straight game, and finished the first quarter on a 14-5 run to grab a 23-14 edge after one period. Hill scored five points in that stretch, and Earl and Herrera added four points apiece.

The Vikings built the lead to as many as 14 points twice in the second quarter before settling for an eight-point edge at the half.