Earl powers Vikings past Illinois College

Lawrence women's basketball action Kenya Earl
Lawrence's Kenya Earl scored a career-high 28 points in the Vikings' 70-64 win over Illinois College.

APPLETON, Wis. -- Lawrence University women's basketball standout Kenya Earl scored a career-high 28 points and pulled down 13 rebounds Friday to lead the Vikings to a 70-64 Midwest Conference victory over Illinois College at Alexander Gymnasium.

Earl did most of her damage from beyond the 3-point line and at the foul line as she went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc and 13-of-14 from the charity stripe. She also collected two blocks, an assist and a steal. Earl topped her previous career high of 25 points set last season against Knox College.

Leah Reeves added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Vikings (3-2, 1-0 MWC), and Erin Hill had 13 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Lawrence won the game with its long-range shooting and at the foul line. The Vikings went 7-for-15 from 3-point range and hit 21-of-27 from the line. Illinois College (3-4, 0-1) went just 1-for-11 on 3-pointers and went 13-for-22 from the foul line.

Grace Yaunches paced Illinois College with 19 points and she grabbed eight rebounds. Carly Cameron had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Lady Blues.

The game was tight throughout with neither team building a lead larger than eight. Illinois College led by seven in the first half, and Lawrence led by eight in the second half.

Lawrence led 46-45 heading to the fourth quarter, but the Vikings went on an 11-4 run, capped by 3-pointers by Earl and Moreau Halliburton, to take a 57-49 lead with 5:49 remaining. Illinois College chipped away at the lead and cut the margin to 59-56 on Cameron's layup with 3:33 left.

The teams traded layups before Earl got loose inside and her layup put the Vikings up 63-58 with 1:34 left. Illinois College was fouled on its next two possessions but converted just two of the four free throws to cut the lead to 63-60 with 26 seconds left.

The Lady Blues were forced to foul and Lawrence went 7-for-8 from the foul line in the final 22 seconds to seal the victory.