In an earlier meeting with Knox College, the Grinnell College men’s basketball team led by just a point at halftime before pulling away to victory.
The Pioneers made sure that scenario didn’t repeat itself Tuesday as they bolted out to an 11-0 lead and never looked back in a 128-87 Midwest Conference victory at Darby Gymnasium.
Grinnell shot a sizzling 43.3 from 3-point land, hitting 29-of-67 shots from long range. Jesse Ney ’13 led the charge with 30 points, making 10-of-18 treys in the process, and Garrett Nitz ’13 recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists.
Griffin Lentsch ’13 tallied 23 points with the aid of perfect 10-of-10 shooting from the free throw stripe, while Matt Skelly ’12 scored 22 points on a 6-of-11 effort from 3-point range. Skelly also had four steals and Jack Adams ’13 grabbed seven rebounds.
The win kept Grinnell in a first-place tie in the MWC standings at 12-1. The Pioneers moved to 16-1 overall.
Joe Kozak scored 17 points for the Prairie Fire, who dipped to 2-11 in the MWC and 3-15 in all games.
Grinnell hit its first four shots, as Skelly drained a pair of 3-pointers, Marques Valdez ’13 scored on a layup and Brian McManamy ’13 connected on a trey to make it 11-0 just 73 seconds into the game.
After Knox closed within 14-4, Grinnell went on an eight-point run as Luke Yeager ’15 scored in the paint, Lentsch made two free throws, Ney connected on a 3-pointer and Dominique Bellamy ’13 made a free throw for a 22-4 edge.
Grinnell continued to pull away and led 67-34 at intermission. The Pioneers never looked back after that.
The Pioneers face a pair of tough road tests this weekend, playing at Ripon College on Friday and St. Norbert College the following day.