Monday, February 1, 2010

Grinnell bounces back in a big way

Sure, it was out of the Midwest Conference, but my Grinnell Pioneers put up some numbers to which they are accustomed in a 121-98 victory over Fontbonne University on Sunday. Dylan Seelman (29 points) and Matt Skelly (28) led the way and made 12 of Grinnell's 18 3-pointers, while Matt Chalupa added 12 points and freshman Dominique Bellamy had 11.

The Pioneers (5-12) finished 33-of-93 from the field, including 18-of-62 on 3s, and forced 32 turnovers. Alex McDonald had four of Grinnell's 17 steals.

And as "The System" often does, the final 4 minutes or so of the first half saw a flurry of points to allow the Pioneers to pull away. Chris Forrest made a layup to bring Fontbonne (6-13) within 38-31 with 4:12 remaining in the opening 20 minutes before it fell apart for the school from St. Louis. First, Garrett Nitz was fouled on a 3-pointer and converted all three free throws before John Bruns added 3s on consecutive possessions to start the game-changing spurt. When it was over, topped off nicely by a trey shortly before the buzzer by Skelly, Grinnell had scored 26 points in that span to lead 64-48. Simply amazing.

The margin reached 25 on another 3-pointer by Skelly late in the second half. Glad to see coach David Arsenault and his squad rewarded for their effort this season.

They are off until a MWC weekend trip to Wisconsin, where they play Ripon on Friday night and follow up with a visit to Beloit on Saturday. As always, good luck to them.

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