It’s a logjam for the top spot in the Midwest Conference after Justin Aluya broke a record which had stood for more than 40 years on his way to a double-double to power Monmouth past Grinnell 107-92 Tuesday night in Glennie Gym.
Monmouth’s win combined with a Ripon win over St. Norbert has forged a four-way tie for the league lead between Monmouth, Ripon, St. Norbert and Lake Forest.
Aluya pumped in 37 points – and with Monmouth’s single-game rebounding record holder Roger Sander looking on – pulled down 25 boards to break Sander’s single-game record of 23 set in 1976. Thanks to Aluya canning 16 of his 18 shots from the floor and Stephon Bobbitt hitting 10 of 16 on his way to 23 points, the Scots connected on 41 of 62 shots, scoring 80 points in the paint while taking just one 3-point attempt.
With the score tied 24-24 with 10:28 left in the first half, D.J. Swift and Will Jones scored on back-to-back buckets in the paint to give Monmouth the lead and never looked back. Aluya’s first bucket of the second half sparked the Scots to a 10-3 run as Monmouth began to pull away, eventually leading by as much as 28 points at 94-66 when Jones sank a pair of free throws with 6:48 left in the game.
The Scots travel to DePere, Wis., Saturday with a share of the MWC lead on the line. Tip off against the Green Knights is set for 1:00 pm.
Monmouth hit over half their shots and led for all but the first two minutes in an 80-63 win over Grinnell Tuesday night at Glennie Gym.
Becca Gallis pumped in 27 points on 8 of 12 shooting, including a 4 for 5 effort from 3-point range and Tia Robertson dialed in 18 on 8 of 11 shooting as Monmouth avenged a loss to the Pioneers just two weeks ago. Monmouth erupted for a 15-2 run early in the first quarter and led by as many as 17 early in the second quarter.
Grinnell briefly trimmed the margin to single digits at the start of the third period before the Scots caught fire with a 17-2 run to end the quarter with a 68-44 lead. The Scots maintained the double digit lead over the final 10 minutes to inch within two games of the top four in the Midwest Conference.
The Scots travel to DePere, Wis., Saturday for a 3 p.m. nonconference matchup with St. Norbert.