GRINNELL, Iowa – After losing a hard-fought 78-70 decision at Lake Forest College a little over a month ago, the Grinnell College women's basketball team felt it had something to prove.
The Pioneers lived up to that Friday night, using stingy defense and timely shooting to knock off the Foresters 56-46 at Darby Gymnasium.
The win marked a stretch of Grinnell's dominance over Lake Forest at home. The Pioneers have now won six straight against Lake Forest at Darby, dating back to 2011, and are 5-1 in the past six overall meetings with the Foresters.
The win was key for the Pioneers in Midwest Conference play as they improved to 2-4 in the league and 5-6 overall. Lake Forest fell to 4-3 in the MWC and 6-8 in all games.
Grinnell hit 38.9 percent of its 3-point shots, the second-best success rate of the season, while its defense limited an opponent to season-lows in both 3-pointers made with two and 3-pointer percentage at 11.1 percent.
Additionally, Lake Forest's field goal total of 18 and point total were both the second-lowest allowed by Grinnell this season.
The Pioneers were sparked by Kayla Morrissey '18, who had a game-high 25 points to go along with nine rebounds and two assists. She is only the second player in Pioneer history to tally 1,000 points and 500 rebounds (she has 1,211 and 516, respectively).
Tyria Heath '21 added 11 points, two assists and two steals, while Olivia Woolam '21 came up with nine points. Both Morrissey and Woolam had a trio of 3-pointers.
Mikayla Kricfalusi '20 added seven boards, while Abby Hellweg '19 and Margaret Giles '18 each had career-highs of six rebounds. Hanna Kessel '19 had a career-best two steals, while Regan Kasprak '19 came up with two assists and two steals.
It was a 12-11 lead for Grinnell after one period. The teams battled on even terms most of the second period before the Pioneers closed out the frame with a critical 12-point run.
Kessel had a basket to tie things at 23-all, and then Morrissey drained a 3-pointer to push the Pioneers ahead to stay. Heath scored two baskets and three free throws the rest of the way to make it a 33-23 edge entering halftime.
Grinnell went up by as many as 19 in the third period as Morrissey's free throw made it 47-28. The Pioneers were up 47-35 after the quarter.
Lake Forest made one last run, coming within five with 1:22 left. But Giles hit a big jumper with 1:07 left and Morrissey made a trio of free throws in the waning seconds to secure the victory.
Grinnell is back home Saturday when Beloit College visits Darby Gymnasium. Tip-off is at 3 p.m.