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Men headed to MWC tourney: Scots basketball to face off against third seed Grinnell

February 27, 2015

Michelle Ravel / The Courier - Men's basketball heads into the Midwest Conference Tournament seeded second. The team will first play Grinnell College at 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon in Wisconsin.

After defeating Lawrence University in Wisconsin last weekend, men’s basketball sits comfortably in the second seed for the Midwest Conference Tournament. With preseason polls predicting the team finishing in the bottom half of the conference, the Scots are excited and preparing for the game against Grinnell College today.

Ending the regular season with a road win gives the team a boost going into tournament play. The team finished the season 16-7 overall, and 13-5 in MWC play. Players were happy with game play in the end of the season and are prepping for the first tournament game.

“One great thing about this team that has made us so successful as a unit is the ability of a number of guys on our team that can step up and make huge contributions,” junior Reed Goodbred said. He added that a deep bench gave the Scots an advantage over the Vikings.

Within the first five minutes of the game, Monmouth took the lead and kept it for the rest of the game. Freshman Riley Blea dropped a 3-pointer to give the team its start to a healthy lead.

Going into halftime, the score was 38-28, Scots. Junior Andrew Mathison had a game high of 21 points and helped pushed the final score to 73-59 on Lawrence’s senior night.

“We played great defensively against Lawrence and never really let them get into the paint. We were contesting most of their shots and rebounding well,” Mathison said.

“When all five guys on the court give it their all the result is usually good,” said Blea. Between the Lawrence game and the first MWC Tournament game, the team has had a week to prepare and is using it to its advantage.

“It’s a great feeling to be going to the MWC Tournament for the first time since I have been at Monmouth,” said Mathison.

In order to prepare for their first opponents, Grinnell, the Scots are resting up and practicing game play as it will be against the Pioneers.

“Our playing style is completely changed to accommodate how Grinnell likes to play, which is very up-tempo, in our face and shooting a lot of 3-pointers,” Goodbred said. In their two matchups, both teams claimed victory one time. In the first, Monmouth won 119-114 and the second Grinnell came out on top 108-82. The Scots will have to watch for Grinnell senior Jack Taylor who scored 35 and 27 points, respectively, in the two games against Monmouth.

As St. Norbert College placed first in the MWC, the tournament will be held in De Pere Wisconsin on the Knights home court. Tip off for the men is 3:30 p.m.

Mathison, Blea and Goodbred all said that the team is ready to play and have confidence in its coach and players.

“Coach Skrivseth has believed in us all as players and men even through our struggles the precious two years and knew it would be our time soon enough,” said Goodbred.

Erica Anderson
Courier Sports Editor

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