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Men’s basketball continues winning streak, breaks records

David Arseneault '09 scores during Saturday's game against Beloit where Grinnell won 117-97. Arsenault went on to score 19 points and dish out 8 assists.
David Arseneault '09 scores during Saturday's game against Beloit where Grinnell won 117-97. Arsenault went on to score 19 points and dish out 8 assists. - Michelle Fournier
This past week, the Grinnell men’s basketball team defeated three conference foes, improved their record to 15-6 (11-3 in the Midwest Conference), and extended their winning streak to six games. On Friday night, the team beat Ripon College 120-100, and gained another 20-point victory over Beloit College on Saturday afternoon, beating them 117-97. On Wednesday the team defeated Knox College 107-74.

During the game against Ripon, John Grotberg ’09 scored 43 points, Bobby Long ’09 scored 32 points, and David Arseneault ’09 had 9 assists. Grinnell led by six at halftime, but would increase their lead at the start of the second half and eventually never let Ripon get within 11 points for the rest of the game. Grotberg’s performance on Friday night placed him in the top five all-time leading scorers in NCAA Men’s Division III Basketball.

Grotberg then improved his rank during Saturday’s game against Beloit. He scored 38 points, going 14-16 from the free-throw line, moving up to fourth place on the all-time Division III list with 2,702 points, just 7 points shy of the third place spot. Grotberg also added 8 steals and 8 rebounds, while Long had 28 points and Arseneault had 19 points and 8 assists in Saturday afternoon’s game.

Despite the box score, the players felt that their play was lacking and could have been better, especially in the first half of Beloit’s game, where the team was ice cold from the field. “We didn’t play as well as we wanted to this past weekend, but despite that, we got a couple of wins,” said R.J. Roewe ’09 on the team’s overall performance during the two games. Roewe scored 6 points on Saturday against Beloit, and started both games. “It wasn’t our best, but we got it done.”

Against Knox College, the team returned to form as Grotberg scored 33 points, and Long added 30 as the team captured victory easily. Grotberg’s 12 steals in the game set a new Grinnell single-game record, and his 33 points put him third on the all-time list.

“It feels kind of weird to move up in the record books,” Grotberg said. “I’m still not sure it has all sunk in yet. We try to focus on one game at a time since we have the possibility to host the tournament.”

With the three wins this past week, the Pioneers clinched a spot in the four-team MWC Tournament. More importantly, however, is the fact that there is still a possibility for Grinnell to host the MWC Tournament. But for that to happen, Grinnell will need St. Norbert College to lose to Lawrence and Carroll Universities.

“I think we got about a 50 percent chance right now,” Roewe said. “The league is messy and certain people have to lose for us to be able to host it. So, we’re not in driver’s seat, but we still have a shot.”

The team has only two games left on their regular season schedule. They will host Illinois College on Saturday at Darby Gymnasium before their final game the following Saturday at Monmouth College. The game this Saturday against Illinois College is not only the final regular season home game, it is also Senior Day for the graduating seniors on the team, which include Grotberg, Long, Arseneault, Roewe and Ahmed Idrissa ’09.

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