APPLETON, Wis. — The Lawrence University men’s basketball team pulled away early in the second half and cruised to a 67-53 Midwest Conference victory over Monmouth College on Saturday at Alexander Gymnasium.

Junior forward Ryan DePouw paced Lawrence (8-9, 6-6 MWC) with 20 points and connected on 4-of-5 shots from 3-point range. Jamie Nikitas had a double-double with 18 points and a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with a game-high six steals for the Vikings. Brian Gryszkiewicz chipped in with 10 points, six rebounds, three assists and four steals for Lawrence.

Cole Jackson led Monmouth (5-13, 4-9) with 12 points.

Lawrence, which has beaten Monmouth 12 consecutive times, led only 29-26 late in the first half when Nikitas buried a 3-pointer. Gryszkiewicz followed with a layup off a pass from Nikitas. After a Ben Friday layup for Monmouth, DePouw nailed a 3-pointer at the first half buzzer to put Lawrence up 37-28 at the break.

Lawrence still held that nine-point edge four-plus minutes into the second half when the Vikings pulled away for good. Chris Siebert started a 9-0 run by hitting a 3-pointer, and Nikitas followed with a three-point play for a 48-33 lead. Nikitas then hit a 3-pointer with 13:03 left for a 51-33 edge.

The Scots trimmed the lead to 51-37, but a three-point play from Trace Sonnleitner and a Tyler Mazur layup quickly pushed Lawrence’s lead back to 56-37. Monmouth got no closer than the final margin of 14 points the rest of the way.

Lawrence returns to action on Wednesday when it hosts No. 8 St. Norbert College on Wednesday.

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