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.