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Tournament hope alive for Scots

February 5, 2016

Michelle Ravel - The Courier

The Fighting Scot’s men’s basketball team took control of fourth place in the conference this past Saturday after taking down Lake Forrest. The 74-63 win moves the Scots to 11-7 overall and 8-5 in conference play. The two teams were tied in fourth place, the last spot to make the conference tournament, heading into Saturday’s matchup with the tiebreaker in the Foresters favor.

A couple of turnovers in the early minutes from the Scots helped propel Lake Forrest to an 8-0 lead. Ben Friday put up the first points on board for the Scots four minutes in.

Back to back threes by Riley Blea and Lamont Mitchell put the Scots up three at the midway point in the first half. The Scots closed the first half keeping the lead for most of the play, only getting out-rebounded by one.

The Scots came out with a lot of energy to begin the second half rushing to a 19-4 run. At 11:43 the Scots held the biggest lead of the game amounting to 18 points after an Andrew Mathison jumper in the paint. A balanced scoring attack and a hard-nosed defense kept the Foresters from ever getting within 11.

“We moved the ball well on offense and out hustled and rebounded Lake Forrest,” said senior big-man Ben Friday. “On the defensive end, we made big stops and wore out their offense.”

The Scots traveled to Grinnell this past Wednesday in an important conference game. The Scots defense slowed down Grinnell’s high-powered offense in the 103-92 win.

In the first half, the Scots bumped the lead by as many as 14 but failed to head into halftime up. Grinnell took their first lead of the game at the 3:29 mark and marched into the locker room up three despite Monmouth shooting 75% from the floor.

The second half featured Grinnell’s lead extended to six but would never increase beyond that as Monmouth took back the lead six minutes in.

The Scots never looked back and cruised to an 11-point victory. Will Jones poured in 17 points and 5 boards in the victory to lead the Scots. Mathison dominated the paint with 9 boards and contributed 13 points as the Scots improve to 12-6 overall and 9-5 in the Conference.

“Our goal right now remains the same,” said assistant Coach Steve Schweer. “And that is to work as diligently as possible to improve each and every day, and work towards putting together a complete 40 minutes every night we compete for the remainder of our schedule.”

The win maintains the newly found lead for fourth place for the Scots, keeping them in position to make the Midwest Conference Tournament. The Fighting Scots will look to build on their momentum Saturday as they take on non-conference opponent Illinois Institute of Technology at 3 p.m. in Glennie Gymnasium.

C.J. Gillen
Sports Contributor

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