Career games from Earl, Hill not enough as Vikings nipped by Lake Forest

Lawrence women's basketball action Kenya Earl
Lawrence's Kenya Earl (34) scored a career-high 32 points at Lake Forest.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Lawrence University women's basketball standouts Kenya Earl and Erin Hill both had career scoring games Wednesday, but the Vikings fell short in a 90-82 Midwest Conference loss to Lake Forest College at the Sports and Recreation Center.

Lawrence led by one entering the fourth quarter, but Lake Forest opened the final period on a 14-2 run and held off the Vikings down the stretch.

Earl poured in a career-high 32 points as she went 8-for-12 from the floor, including 4-for-4 from 3-point range. Earl also went 12-for-13 from the foul line and picked up seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Earl's previous career high was 30, which she did twice this season.

Earl also moved into second place on Lawrence's career scoring list with 1,238 points. She passed Lawrence Hall of Famer Sarah O'Neil, who is at 1,225.

Hill scored 17 points as she went 7-for-9 from the floor and collected three assists and a pair of rebounds. Hill's previous career high was 15 points, which she had done twice. Shonell Benjamin added 15 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Vikings (5-17, 2-13 MWC).

Zaria Sydnor scored 22 points to pace Lake Forest (11-10, 8-6).

The game was tight throughout the first three quarters. Lawrence led by as many as six points in the opening period, and the Vikings needed a 3-pointer from Delaney Brooks in the final seconds of the second to forge a 36-36 tie at the half.

Lake Forest led by as many as five points in the third quarter, but Lawrence closed the quarter on a 9-4 run to take a 56-55 lead after three. Earl scored six of those nine points for the Vikings.

Lake Forest then opened the fourth by racing out to a 69-58 advantage before baskets by Emma Carlson and Grace Minogue cut the advantage to 69-62. The Foresters built the lead back to 81-70 before the Vikings connected from beyond the arc.

Earl hit a 3-pointer with 52 seconds left, and after a pair of Lake Forest free throws, Brooks drained a 3-pointer. The Foresters then made one free throw, but Earl hit another 3-pointer to cut the lead to 84-79 with 32 seconds remaining.

Lake Forest then made six consecutive free throws to seal the win.