The Monmouth College women shook off Lawrence in the first quarter and never looked back in a 68-51 win over the Vikings to remain in a two-way tie with Ripon for first in the Midwest Conference.
After three ties and two lead changes, Shayne Smith’s layup-and-one with 3:20 left in the opening quarter gave the Scots the lead for good. The Scots opened up the offense in the second quarter and clamped down on the defensive end to outscore the Vikings 16-6 in the period despite hitting just 5-of13 from the floor. The teams played nearly even over the final 20 minutes as the Scots rolled to a 10-2 mark in the league.
The Scots travel to Cornell Wednesday for a 5:30 start.
The Monmouth men cooled a night after shooting over 60 percent from the floor and Lawrence took advantage to end the Scots’ five-game winning streak, hanging a 78-74 loss on the Scots.
Trailing 34-30 at the half, the Scots regained the lead on a pair of Will Carius free throws at the 15-minute mark of the second half as the teams traded the lead over the next five minutes. Knotted at 50-all with 10:03 remaining, the Vikings forged ahead with an 11-0 run before the Scots rallied. Tyler Houston started the rally with a 3-pointer and an inside bucket on back-to-back possessions. D.J. Swift followed with a three and the Scots had climbed within three at 61-58 with 4:34 to play. The Vikings answered with a pair of free throws sandwiched between two, 3-pointers to regain a double digit lead at 69-58 at the 2:51 mark. Monmouth began their final run in the final minute as Carius connected on a jumper in the lane and then a pair of free throws to pull within five at 71-66 with 35 seconds remaining. Swift followed with an inside jumper on the next possession to make it a one-possession game. Lawrence then held off the Scots, sinking all six of their free throws in the final 13 seconds.
Swift led the Scots with 20 points while Carius picked up his third consecutive double-double, pumping in 19 points and pulling down 16 rebounds. Tyler Houston added 17 on 6-of-9 shooting which included a 4-for-5 effort from 3-point range.
Despite the loss, the Scots stay in the top four of the Midwest Conference standings at 7-5, tied with Lawrence and Ripon for the final postseason berth.
Monmouth travels to Cornell Wednesday for a 7:30 tip off with the Rams.