The Grinnell College women’s basketball team pulled away in the final five minutes and posted a 51-46 Midwest Conference victory over Lawrence University on Saturday at Alexander Gymnasium.

Karen Gogins came off the bench to lead Grinnell (6-7, 5-5 MWC) with 12 points. Alex Deshler paced Lawrence (0-15, 0-10) with 12 points off the bench. Nakita Chadwick added 11 points and a game-high seven rebounds for the Vikings. Cory Paquette chipped in with 10 points, three assists, two blocks and a steal.

The game was tied at 34-34 on Chadwick’s layup with 5:16 left in the game. Grinnell then scored the next nine points, including four by Jessica Vaverka, to grab a 43-34 lead with 3:21 left. Lawrence had three turnovers and a missed shot during that stretch.

Chadwick’s free throw with 2:55 left broke the scoring drought, and Deshler followed with two more three throws to trim the lead to 43-37 with 2:27 left. After a Grinnell free throw, Paquette countered with a jumper to cut the lead to 44-39 with 1:25 remaining.

Grinnell then sealed the victory by hitting 7 of 8 free throws in the final 1:01.

Grinnell led by as many as five points late in the first half, but Deshler hit a 3-pointer and Paquette added a jumper to tie the game at 23-23 at the half. Lawrence would lead by as many four points midway through the second half, but Grinnell came back to tie the game before decisive stretch in the final minutes.

Lawrence returns to action on Wednesday when it hosts St. Norbert College.

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