St. Norbert Tops Northland in Nicolet National Bank Tourney Opener

From Sports Information Director, December 29, 2011 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College won its opener in the Nicolet National Bank Holiday Tournament with a 71-53 triumph over Northland College on Connie Tilley Court at Schuldes Sports Center.

The Green Knights (6-3) will face UW-La Crosse (9-2) at 7 p.m. Friday in the tournament championship. La Crosse topped Kalamazoo College 73-44 in the other first-round game. Kalamazoo and Northland will play in the consolation game at 5 p.m.

St. Norbert battled to pull away from the Lumberjacks. Northland held a couple four-point leads in the first half, but St. Norbert eventually built an eight-point lead on three occasions late in the first half. Brandon Gries' jumper with 4 seconds left before the break gave the Green Knights a 35-27 halftime edge.

The Green Knights opened the second half on a 7-0 run, keyed by a Paul Appleton 3-pointer. Northland parried with an 8-0 run of its own, but St. Norbert got a 3-pointer by Appleton and a layup by Jack Whalen for a 47-35 lead with 14:26 to go. The Lumberjacks would get no closer than nine points the rest of the way.

Gries led St. Norbert with 18 points, while Andrew Schwoerer added 10 points. Mitchell Cloghessy added eight points and eight rebounds, while Steven Hofacker netted eight points and seven rebounds. The Green Knights shot 40 percent from the floor, making 24 of 60 field-goal attempts. St. Norbert held a 35-34 rebounding edge.

Adrian Flores led Northland with 23 poitns and 11 rebounds, and was the only Lumberjack to score in double figures. Northland made 19 of 46 (41.3 percent) of its field-goal attempts, and also had 22 turnovers.