Green Knights Eke Past Monmouth to Earn NCAA Tournament Berth

From Sports Information Director, February 26, 2011 | Women's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College hung on to advance to its 10th NCAA Division III women's basketball tournament with a 56-54 overtime win over Monmouth College on Connie Tilley Court at Schuldes Sports Center.

The Green Knights (23-2) are making their third NCAA Tournament appearance in the last four years. Monmouth finished its season 16-9.

St. Norbert survived a furious Monmouth rally in the final 4 minutes of regulation and then had to make a defensive stop on the final sequence of overtime.

The Green Knights led 55-51 with 2 minutes 40 seconds left in overtime before Marla Willard's conventional three-point play brought the Scots to within 55-54. Neither team scored again until Rachel Hermus split a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left. Haley Jones' 3-pointer from the corner was short, and the rebound came out to Colleen Forrest at the elbow and her shot as time expired was also off the mark.

St. Norbert led 49-39 with 4:25 left in regulation before the Scots scored on four straight possessions to trim the deficit to 49-47 with 2:20 left. Neither team scored again until Jones' jumper with 12 seconds left knotted the score. St. Norbert did not get a shot off at the end of regulation.

Monmouth built a nine-point lead in the first half at 27-18 with 3:27 remaining, but the Green Knights closed out the period on a 9-0 run to tie the score at 27-27 at intermission.

St. Norbert committed an uncharacteristic 24 turnovers and shot 26 percent from the floor, making 18 of 50 shots. Krista Pelky led St. Norbert with 16 points, while Krista Hawkinson added 12.

Jones paced the Scots with 18 points, while Justine Bonne added 12. The Scots shot 22 of 52 (42.3 percent) from the floor and added 22 turnovers of their own.