Grinnell (Iowa) Athletics

GRINNEL, Iowa -- Grinnell burst out to a 40-28 halftime lead and forced 28 total turnovers on its way to a 79-65 victory Saturday against No. 12 St. Norbert.

Griffin Lentsch scored 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting for the Pioneers, who won their fifth game in a row while improving to 8-6 in Midwest Conference play and 13-6 overall.

Dominique Bellamy added 14 points for Grinnell, while Alex McDonald and Kale Knisley grabbed five rebounds each. David Wipperfurth scored 18 points for the Green Knights, who dipped to 12-3 in the MWC and 16-4 overall.

Grinnell fell behind by five early in the game before roaring back, eventually taking the lead and extending it to 12 points by halftime at 40-28. Grinnell forced 18 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

St. Norbert got as close as four twice early in the second half, and still kept it close at a seven-point game before Grinnell went on a seven-point run to stretch out the lead. Nitz began with a jumper, Matt Skelly sank a jumper and Matt Chalupa drained a 3-pointer to put the Pioneers ahead 59-45 with 13:23 left.

Grinnell still led by double digits most of the second half before St. Norbert pulled within eight at 71-63 on a jumper by Wipperfurth with 2:18 remaining.

Neither team scored for the next minute before McManamy made a free throw, and McDonald added a charity shot later to push the Pioneers ahead 73-63.

After St. Norbert came within eight again at the 1:01 mark, Lentsch brought the crowd to its feet with a dunk with 58 seconds remaining. McDonald tacked on two free throws with 32 seconds left to push the Pioneers ahead 77-65. Bellamy sank two more with 15 ticks left to finish off the win.