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Memorial Gymnasium on the Knox College campus was the place for the Midwest Conference basketball match up between the Monmouth College Fighting Scots and the Knox College Prairie Fire. The Monmouth men maintained their hold on third place in the Midwest Conference standings with three games to play despite a 90-65 road loss to the Prairie Fire. It was the largest margin of victory over Monmouth since a 98-69 victory in the 1970-71 season. With the win, Knox has won two of their past three. Trey Swearingen led Monmouth with 16 points, including a 4-for-6 effort from 3-point range but the Fire broke free in the first half and led the rest of the way. Jordan Rayner finished with 24 points to lead the Prairie Fire. Ethan Meeker added 21 points, The Scots remained in third, two games behind Ripon for second. Monmouth will host the Red Hawks Saturday in a 1 p.m. match up.
For the second time this season, the Monmouth women will face Ripon needing a win to pull into a tie for first place in the league after Wednesday’s 69-55 loss at Knox. The Scots jumped out to a 36-32 halftime lead lead before frigid shooting in the second half allowed Knox to heat up and extinguish Monmouth’s nine-game win streak. Monmouth held a 36-32 halftime lead, but hit just four of their 11 shots in the third quarter while the Fire went 9-for-14 from the floor to outscore the Scots 22-14 in the period. Monmouth’s cold shooting continued in the fourth quarter as Knox pulled away with a 10-point advantage in the final 10 minutes. Krya Huffman led Knox with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Jarrelyn McCall finished with 15 points to bring her career total to 1,296. With a free throw in the second quarter, McCall broke the career scoring record for the Knox women’s program. While the Scots were falling to the Prairie Fire, Ripon edged Cornell in Wisconsin to pull a game ahead of Monmouth for the Midwest Conference lead with three games to play. The last time the teams met, the Scots clipped the Red Hawks in Wisconsin to forge a tie for the lead. A win over Ripon at Glennie Gym on Saturday would force another tie, but Monmouth would have the tiebreaker by virtue of a 2-0 head-to-head mark over the Hawks. The Scots and Hawks are scheduled for a 3 p.m. tip Saturday at Glennie.