Slow start, icy shooting doom Vikings at Knox

GALESBURG, Ill. — A slow start combined with frigid shooting Saturday doomed the Lawrence University women’s basketball team in a 72-35 Midwest Conference loss to Knox College.

Knox jumped out to a 12-point lead after the first quarter, and Lawrence (2-2, 0-2 MWC) shot just 21.7 percent from the floor for the game. The Vikings hit just 3-of-20 shots (15 percent) from beyond the arc.

Kyra Huffman led Knox (2-3, 1-1) with 18 points and she grabbed nine rebounds. Karlie Thorn added 11 points for the Prairie Fire, and Hailey Leinart had 10.

Natalie Kramer paced Lawrence with 10 points. Grace Minogue added nine points, and Leah Reeves had eight points to go with a team-best nine rebounds.

Lawrence actually led 5-4 after Minogue’s 3-pointer with 7:33 left in the first quarter, but that’s when Knox took over. The Prairie Fire went on a 15-2 run to end the period and led 19-7 after one.

Knox expanded its lead to 43-23 at the half but couldn’t pull away in the third quarter. The Vikings went ice cold in the fourth quarter, hitting just 1-of-14 shots from the floor while being held to three points as Knox stretched the advantage.

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Witter paces Vikings on opening day of Pioneer Classic

GRINNELL, Iowa — Paige Witter’s runner-up finish led the Lawrence University swimmers on Friday at the Pioneer Classic at Grinnell College.

Witter raced to second in the 500-yard freestyle in a time of of 5:22.11 and was nipped by Grinnell’s Beth Tsuha, who won in 5:21.40.

Lawrence’s 400 medley relay team of Witter, Emei Thompson, Emmi Zheng and Danielle Millin took third in 4:14.64. The 200 freestyle relay team of Millin, Thompson, Eryn Blagg and Lizzy Garcia-Creighton grabbed fourth in 1:45.25.

The Lawrence women are third in the team standings with 142 points. Grinnell leads with 366.

On the men’s side, the top finishers were the 200 freestyle relay team of Travis Charlow, Max Stahl, Christian Bell and Tom Goldberg, who finished eighth in 1:32.19.

Lawrence is in ninth place with 30 points, and Grinnell leads with 377.


Lady Blues pull away early to topple Lawrence

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. — The Illinois College women’s basketball team rolled to a huge lead after the first quarter Friday and rolled to a 96-42 Midwest Conference victory over Lawrence University at Sherman Gymnasium.

The Lady Blues (3-2, 2-0 MWC) led 32-7 after one quarter and never looked back. Illinois College was up 51-20 at the half.

Brielle Greenleaf led Illinois College and all scorers with 20 points, and Carly Cameron added 19.

Natalie Kramer paced Lawrence (2-1, 0-1) with eight points, and Olivia Hoesley and Leah Reeves added seven points apiece.

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Vikings pull away late to down Illinois College

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. — A scoring run in the final nine minutes Friday helped the Lawrence University men’s basketball team pull away for a 78-70 Midwest Conference victory over Illinois College at Sherman Gymnasium.

The Vikings went on a 14-5 run over a six-minute stretch that expanded their lead to 14 points at 72-58 with 2:55 left. Illinois College never got closer than the final margin after that.

Mitch Willer hit 6-of-7 shots from the floor on his way to leading a balanced Lawrence attack with 14 points and nine rebounds. Jeremy Stephani and Quinn Fisher added 13 points apiece, and Ben Peterson had 11 points for the Vikings (1-2, 1-0 MWC).

Mitchell Patterson led Illinois College (0-3, 0-2) with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.

The Vikings led 58-52 when Willer’s three-point play started the decisive scoring run. Peterson, who went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc, then hit a 3-pointer to push the advantage to 64-52.

Illinois College trimmed the lead back to nine points, but back-to-back layups from Willer and Eric Weiss and a 3-pointer from Fisher increased the edge to 71-58. Willer added a free throw with 2:55 left to give Lawrence a 14-point advantage.

Lawrence went 11-for-24 from 3-point range with Peterson, Stephani and Fisher all hitting a trio of 3-pointers apiece. The Vikings also connected on 17-of-22 free-throw attempts.

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Felan’s late goal lifts Vikings to tie with third-ranked St. Norbert

APPLETON, Wis. — Nick Felan scored late in the third period Friday, and that lifted Lawrence University to a 1-1 overtime tie with No. 3 St. Norbert College in a Northern Collegiate Hockey Association game at the Appleton Family Ice Center.

Felan’s goal with 4:24 left in regulation knotted the game at 1-1. After Josh Koepplinger dug the puck out from the side boards, Felan exchanged passes with Lane King and then beat St. Norbert goaltender T.J. Black to tie the game.

St. Norbert (8-2-1, 5-1-1 NCHA) got the better of the play in the five-minute overtime, but freshman goaltender Evan Cline made five saves to preserve the tie for Lawrence (3-5-1, 3-1-1).

Cline stopped a season-best 49 shots, including a trio of breakaways, and Black made 22 saves for the Green Knights.

St. Norbert got on the board late in the first period after Black turned away a flurry of Lawrence shots. The Green Knights counterattacked and Chris Rygus scored with just 24 seconds left in the period.

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Women’s basketball preview: Lawrence at Illinois College, Knox

APPLETON, Wis. — The unbeaten Lawrence University women’s basketball team opens Midwest Conference play this weekend as the Vikings travel to Illinois for a pair of games. Lawrence heads to Jacksonville, Ill., for a Friday night game at Illinois College, and the Vikings then trek to Galesburg, Ill., for a Saturday afternoon tilt at Knox College.


The Week Ahead: November 28-December 4

APPLETON, Wis. — The Lawrence University hockey team jumps back into Northern Collegiate Hockey Association play this weekend, and the men’s and women’s basketball team begin Midwest Conference play this week.

LU Sports-VikingSwimDive-PMS294SWIMMING

Event: Grinnell Pioneer Classic

When and Where: Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3, Grinnell Natatorium.

Webcast: Pioneer Classic

Fast Fact: The Lawrence women are off to a great start this season with a 2-0 mark in dual meets. The Vikings downed Ripon 137-67 and pounded Beloit 157-31. Senior Paige Witter has already picked up Midwest Conference Swimmer of the Week honors this season after her performance in the All-Wisconsin Showcase to start the season.

LU Sports-VikingBasketball-PMS294WOMEN’S BASKETBALL (2-0, 0-0 MWC)

Opponent: Lawrence at Illinois College (2-2, 1-0 MWC)

When and Where: Friday, Dec. 2, 5:30 p.m., Sherman Gymnasium, Jacksonville, Ill.

Webcast: Lawrence at Illinois College

The Series: Illinois College holds a 20–18 edge in a series that started in 1991-92. The Lady Blues have won six straight, and Lawrence’s last victory was a 56-53 victory at Alexander Gymnasium in the 2012-13 season.

Opponent: Lawrence at at Knox (1-2, 0-0 MWC)

When and Where: Saturday, Dec. 3, 1 p.m., Memorial Gymnasium, Galesburg, Ill.

Webcast: Lawrence at Knox

The Series: Lawrence holds a 19-18 advantage in a series that started in the 1989-90 season. The Prairie Fire has won four in a row, and Lawrence’s last victory was a 93-92 win during the 2013-14 season.

Fast Fact: Lawrence has started the season 2-0 for the first time since the 2005-06 season. Lawrence’s 2005-06 team won its first nine games. Junior guard Olivia Hoesley is shooting a solid 47.8 percent from the floor, but Hoesley is hitting a sizzling 66.7 percent of her shots from inside the arc.

LU Sports-VikingBasketball-PMS294MEN’S BASKETBALL (0-2, 0-0 MWC)

Opponent: Lawrence at Illinois College (1-2, 0-1 MWC)

When and Where: Friday, Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m., Sherman Gymnasium, Jacksonville, Ill.

Webcast: Lawrence at Illinois College

The Series: In a series that dates to the 1985-86 season, Lawrence holds a 34-10 advantage over Illinois College. The Vikings have beaten the Blueboys 10 consecutive times and have won 22 of the last 24.

Opponent: Lawrence at at Knox (0-3, 0-0 MWC)

When and Where: Saturday, Dec. 3, 3 p.m., Memorial Gymnasium, Galesburg, Ill.

Webcast: Lawrence at Knox

The Series: In a series that goes all the way back to 1925, Knox holds a 61-58 edge over the Vikings. Lawrence has really closed the gap in the series in recent years. Lawrence has won nine straight over the Prairie Fire and 25 of the last 28 dating back to the 2000-01 season.

Fast Fact: The last time Lawrence started the season 0-2 was the 2010-11 season, and the Vikings broke through for its first win that season against Illinois College. Senior forward Mitch Willer is off to a solid start this season, averaging 11 points while shooting 64.3 percent from the floor. Willer blocked a career-high four shots against UW-Stevens Point this past Saturday.

LU Sports-VikingHockey-PMS301HOCKEY (3-5-0, 3-1-0 NCHA)

Opponent: Lawrence vs. No. 3 St. Norbert (8-2-0, 5-1-0 NCHA)

When and Where: Friday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m., Appleton Family Ice Center; Saturday, Dec. 3, 7 p.m., Cornerstone Community Center, De Pere, Wis.

Webcast: Friday: Lawrence vs. St. Norbert; Saturday: Lawrence at St. Norbert

The Series: St. Norbert holds a 42-4-0 lead in a series that goes back to the 1986-87 season. Three of Lawrence’s wins in the series came against St. Norbert’s club team in the 1987-88 season.

Fast Fact: Lawrence’s youth is showing its muscle early this season. Only three seniors rank among Lawrence’s top 15 scorers through the first eight games. On the defensive end, rookie goaltender Evan Cline picked up his first career shutout in just his second career start and has a .944 save percentage and 1.67 goals against average through his first three games.

Johnnies pull away from Lawrence with big third period

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — The St. John’s University hockey team scored four times in the third period Sunday to pull away for a 6-1 nonconference win over Lawrence University at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

St. John’s (5-4-1) was clinging to a 2-1 lead through two periods, but the Johnnies scored three times in the first 9:55 of the third to seal the win. St. John’s added a goal in the final minutes for the final margin.

The Johnnies led 2-0 in the second when Lane King scored on the power play for the Vikings (3-5-0) with 5:34 left in the period.

Evan Okeley pushed the lead to 3-1 with a goal just 3:41 into the final period. Sam Valerius then scored his second goal of the game at the 6:25 mark to give St. John’s a 4-1 edge.

Cole Suoto and Matt Colford added power-play tallies to finish the scoring. St. John’s went 4-for-5 on the power play, and the Vikings were 1-for-4.

Andrew Lindgren made 22 saves to pick up the win, and Mattias Soderqvist stopped 40 shots for the Vikings.

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