GRINNELL, Iowa – Saturday's victory over Lawrence University turned out to be a block party for the Grinnell College men's basketball team.
The Pioneers tied a school record for blocked shots with 13 as they rolled over the Vikings 135-104 at Darby Gymnasium. Grinnell shot a season-best 51.7 percent from the field and 81.0 percent from the free throw line in moving its record to 7-2 in the Midwest Conference and 11-4 overall. Grinnell's success from 3-point land (47.3 percent) is second-best for the team this season and the point total is fourth.
Vinny Curta '19 had a monster game for Grinnell, scoring 35 points to move his career total to 2,055 – fifth-best in program history. He nearly completed the double-double with nine assists and three steals.
Hannes Kogelnik '21 added 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting from 3-point land while also collecting three steals. Jackson Qualley '22 contributed 19 points and Ky-Sean Johnson '19 had 17. Patrick Simms '22 added three steals and Brad Geiman '21 five rebounds. On the blocks front, Grinnell spread the wealth as Will Bebee '22 and Dawson Keller 21 led the way with three each.
In getting the win, Grinnell continued its dominance of the Vikings by winning for the eighth time in the last nine meetings and posting its nine consecutive win at home over Lawrence.
Grinnell never trailed in the game, breaking out to a quick lead on a 3-pointer by Curta and layup by Geiman. Lawrence kept pace for a bit, trailing 13-9 before the Pioneers exploded with a 13-1 run. Bebee began it with a dunk, Zachary Stice '21 followed with a 3-pointer and Bebee contributed a layup for a 20-9 edge.
After Lawrence scored, Kogelnik and Johnson drained consecutive treys for a 26-10 Grinnell lead with 11:42 left in the half. The Pioneers continued to cruise from there, leading 76-45 at halftime and then finishing off the win to send Lawrence to 5-4 in the MWC and 8-8 overall.
The Pioneers are home again Wednesday when Cornell College comes calling. Action at Darby begins at 7:30 p.m.