Third-quarter surge pushes Vikings past Grinnell

Lawrence women's basketball action Kenya Earl
Kenya Earl posted a double-double in Lawrence's win over Grinnell.

APPLETON, Wis. -- The Lawrence University women's basketball team scored 19 straight points in the third quarter Saturday and cruised to a 63-51 Midwest Conference victory over Grinnell College at Alexander Gymnasium.

The Vikings held Grinnell without a point for a stretch of nearly seven minutes and limited the Pioneers to a chilly 27.4 percent shooting from the floor.

Kenya Earl paced Lawrence (5-10, 2-6 MWC) with a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds. Earl went 6-for-12 from the floor and 7-for-7 from the foul line. Earl now has 1,111 career points and moved past Lawrence Hall of Famer Jackie Huss (1,105) into fourth place on the school's list.

Emma Carlson and KJ Davis added 12 points apiece for the Vikings and Shonell Benjamin had nine. Davis also grabbed seven rebounds, and Carlson had three rebounds and three assists.

Tyria Heath led Grinnell (8-7, 4-4) with 22 points.

Grinnell led 37-33 after a pair of free throws with 6:33 left in the third quarter. That's when the Vikings really went to work.

Carlson started the 19-0 run with a jumper and Davis made a pair of free throws to tie the game at 37-37. Davis followed with a three-point play to give Lawrence a 40-37 advantage. After a pair of free throws from Carlson, Grace Minogue's three-point play pushed Lawrence's lead to double digits at 48-37.

The Vikings got a layup from Benjamin, a pair of Delaney Brooks free throws to lead 52-37 after three quarters.

During that stretch, Grinnell went 0-for-9 from the field and 0-for-2 from the floor and committed four turnovers. Sasha Thomas banked in a jumper 22 seconds into the fourth quarter for the Pioneers' first points in 6:55.

Lawrence came back to score the game's next four points to grab its biggest lead of the game at 57-39 with 6:54 left. The Pioneers never made a run at the Vikings and got no closer than the final margin of 12 points.

Lawrence's defense limited Grinnell to 17-for-62 from the floor, and the Pioneers went just 4-for-29 (13.8 percent) from 3-point range. Grinnell also went just 13-for-26 (50 percent) from the foul line.