Justin Aluya drained the decisive 3-pointer with 1:02 to play in a 65-62 win at Lawrence to keep Monmouth in second place in the Midwest Conference.
Aluya’s 3-ball on his way to a 17-point, 9-rebound afternoon, broke a 62-62 tie as the Scots completed the rally from a 10-point first half deficit. The Scots inched back and pulled within three at halftime on an Aluya free throw and then rolled to a 10-point lead in the second half.
D.J. Swift’s 3-pointer just two minutes into the second half knotted the game at 35-all after Will Jones’ layup the previous possession pulled the Scots within one. Jones’ bucket en route to a 22-point game began Monmouth’s 16-3 run to give them their first lead of the game.
Monmouth’s lead slipped briefly in the final three minutes before Aluya scored the final six points of the game.
The Scots return home next weekend to host Ripon on Friday and league leader St. Norbert on Saturday.
Monmouth’s furious second-half rally fell just short in a 63-59 loss at Lawrence Saturday afternoon.
The Scots took the early lead on a 3-pointer from Keri Dobson and a layup by Carley Turnbull, but Lawrence responded with a late first quarter run and never trailed over the final 32 minutes.
Trailing 37-26 at the half, Monmouth roared back in the third period, cutting the margin to seven at 39-32 on a Yvonne Ornelas 3-pointer before the Vikings upped the lead to double digits. Facing a 49-37 hole as the third quarter wound down, Turnbull drained her only 3-ball of the game to pull the Scots within single digit entering the final frame.
Monmouth kept the pressure on over the final 10 minutes as Shayne Smith and Ornelas drained back-to-back threes to cut the margin to three, 49-46 in the first 90 seconds of the period. The Vikings were never able to shake the Scots who were within one possession with 29 seconds left on Smith’s layup, but Lawrence hit a pair of free throws in the final seconds to hold off the Scots.
The Scots return home to host Ripon Friday night at 7:30.