GRINNELL, Iowa -- The Lawrence University women's basketball team was edged 80-77 by Grinnell College on Saturday in a Midwest Conference game at Darby Gymnasium.
Shonell Benjamin posted a big double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Vikings. Kenya Earl scored a team-best 27 points for Lawrence (4-7, 1-3 MWC) and added five rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
Lawrence's trio of first-year guards, Ashley Batac, Delaney Brooks and KJ Davis, all contributed. Batac had nine points as she went 3-for-6 from beyond the arc, and added six rebounds. Brooks and Davis chipped in with six points apiece.
Tyria Heath led Grinnell (6-5, 2-2) and all scorers with 28 points.
Grinnell, which led by as many as eight points in the second half, couldn't put away the Vikings, who were once again playing without starting guard Erin Hill. The Pioneers led 75-70 with two minutes left when the Vikings made another run.
Benjamin hit a jumper and after an offensive foul on Heath, Earl converted a layup to trim the lead to 75-74. Heath hit a jumper for the Pioneers, but Brooks buried a 3-pointer and Lawrence tied the game at 77-77 with 54 seconds remaining.
After Heath was fouled and made one free throw with 38 seconds left, but Vikings got the ball to Earl, who couldn't convert inside. Grinnell grabbed the rebound, and Sophia Ahooja made two free throws with 14 seconds left to push the lead to three.
Brooks looked to shoot a 3-pointer but eventually missed a shot in the final seconds as Grinnell hung on for the win.