The Monmouth College men’s basketball team jumped out to an early lead and never trailed in a 75-68 win over Lake Forest in the Midwest Conference opener Tuesday night. The Scots (4-3, 1-0) got a career-high 19 points from freshman Kyle Taylor (Moline, Illinois), including four 3-pointers.
Jordan Metcalf (Aledo, Illinois) drove to the bucket and scored on the first Monmouth possession and Taylor made a 3-pointer from the top of the key for a 5-0 lead. With the lead at 7-4, the Scots went on a 13-0 run and forced a Lake Forest timeout with 12:56 to go in the half. Six different players scored during the run, capped by a 3-point play from Yuvraj Sidhu (Coppell, Texas) for a 20-4 lead. The Foresters scored the next five points before Ganon Greenman (Alpha, Illinois) made a layup on a sweet pass from Sidhu.
Taylor hit a 3-pointer and Metcalf’s putback of a missed layup gave the Scots a 27-11 lead with 8:45 to go in the half. The Foresters countered with a 9-0 run after Metcalf went to the bench with his second foul. Taylor made a floater to end the run with Monmouth on top 29-20. David Williams (Loves Park, Illinois) made a layup before the Foresters hit a 3-pointer to pull within six. Taylor splashed a long 3-pointer for a 34-25 lead with under two minutes to play in the half. Sidhu made a layup and Lake Forest answered with a layup. But Elijah Bull was called for a technical and Taylor’s free throw put Monmouth on top 37-29 with 36 seconds left. Lake Forest made two free throws with two seconds left to cut the lead to 37-31 at the break.
Lake Forest came out of the locker room on fire with five straight points to cut the lead to one. Kendall Brasfield (Chicago, Illinois) made two free throws to put the Scots up 39-36. Metcalf got a bucket inside and Brasfield’s circus layup gave the Scots a four point lead. Metcalf scored again to get into double digits and Declan Flynn’s (Monmouth, Illinois) cutting layup put Monmouth on top 47-41. Jordan Hill (Chicago, Illinois) made a layup and after he blocked a Lake Forest shot, Williams drained a 3-pointer in transition for a 52-41 lead.
Hill made a layup to give the Scots a 13-point lead with 10 minutes to play. Lake Forest scored on three straight possessions to cut the lead to 58-51 as coach Todd Skrivseth called timeout. The Foresters worked the Monmouth lead down to five before Metcalf scored on a putback with 7:20 to play. Taylor drilled another 3-pointer for a 10-point lead as the clock went under six minutes to play.
Lake Forest went on a 5-0 run and Monmouth turned it over before calling another timeout with 3:19 left. Lake Forest hit another jumper but Metcalf scored at the rim to put the Scots up 67-62 with 2:30 left. Taylor left a couple Foresters in his wake while breaking ankles on the way to a lefty layup and the visitors called timeout with 1:36 to play. Lake Forest split free throws with 53 seconds left and Hill made a layup to put the Scots up 71-65. After LFC missed a 3-pointer they fouled Williams to stop the clock with 18.6 left. He made both free throws and after missing two shots the Foresters fouled Brasfield with 4.4 seconds to play. The sophomore made both to give the Scots a 75-65 lead before Lake Forest hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Taylor led the Scots with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting and he hit 4-of-7 from deep. Williams had 15 points while Metcalf had 14. Brasfield and Hill both contributed eight points and Metcalf led the Scots with six rebounds. Taylor and Sidhu both had three assists while Flynn led the team with two blocks.
MONMOUTH MOMENTS: Lake Forest swept the season series last year with a 2-point win in Glennie Gym. Skrivseth is 10-11 against the Foresters, 6-6 at home. Williams has scored at least eight points and made at least one 3-pointer in every game this season. Brasfield has at least seven points in every game but this was his first without a made 3-pointer. Taylor scored a season and career-high 19 after previously setting that high on Saturday with 14 points. The four made 3-pointers are also a career high. The Scots were 12-of-16 from the FT line, 8-for-9 in the second half. Metcalf has at least 10 points and five boards in six of the seven games this season. Monmouth never trailed and the game wasn’t tied after 0-0 as the Scots led for 39:47. Monmouth outscored the Foresters 46-36 in the paint. The Scots next home game is Saturday, Dec. 17 against Westminster (Mo.). The Scots head to Beloit on Saturday for their first MWC road game with a 3 p.m. tipoff.
***Courtesy of Nathan Baliva, Monmouth College***