Beloit edges Grinnell on national television

GRINNELL, Iowa — The Grinnell men lost to Beloit in an 86-85 heartbreaker on Thursday night in front of a capacity crowd at the college's brand-new Darby Gym. Thursday's game marked the first regular season NCAA Division III game to be televised nationally by the ESPN family of networks, shown on ESPN2. 

Grinnell senior guard Matt Brown started the game off with an electrifying 3-pointer that ignited the crowd of 1,250 spectators. The Pioneers opened up a 10-2 lead three and a half minutes into the game, but fell behind 32-22 with 6:31 left in the first half. Grinnell then went on a 13-3 run to tie the game at 35-35 on a Doug Ticus layup with 39 seconds left in the half.

Beloit led 39-38 at intermission and held a 56-47 advantage at the 14:40 mark of the second half. Grinnell once again tied the game at 66-66 with 7:18 to play on a Trey Raney free-throw and took its first lead of the second half at 79-78 with 2:57 to play after a Paul Nordlund 3-pointer. After the Pioneers went up 84-82 with 1:28 remaining in regulation, Belot outscored Grinnell 4-1 to finish the game. A layup by Beloit's Nick Hendry proved to be the difference-maker. A desperation 3-point try by Ticus at the buzzer hit the backboard and the rim but misssed as time expired.

Senior guard Eric Walsh led the Grinnell attack with 16 points on 4-for-10 shooting, including three 3-pointers. Walsh also went 5-of-7 at the free-throw line. Junior Paul Nordlund added 13 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Junior guard Toby Carlson notched 11 points, two rebounds and two assists. Senior guards Matt Brown and Trey Raney each tallied nine points, while first-year forward Aden Stinebrickner-Kauffman chipped in with six points and eight rebounds.

Grinnell shot 29 percent (28 of 96) from the floor, 13 of 52 (25 percent) from 3-point land and 16 of 23 (70 percent) from the charity stripe. The Pioneer defense forced 32 Beloit turnovers as 16 players saw court time.