Green Knights Dig In to Clinch MWC Tournament Berth

From Sports Information Director, February 11, 2012 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College withstood a furious last-ditch rally late by Carroll University to pull out a 65-62 Midwest Conference win on Connie Tilley Court at Schuldes Sports Center. The Green Knights clinched a spot in the four-team MWC Tournament with the triumph.

St. Norbert (14-8, 11-6 MWC) led 57-42 with 5 minutes 55 seconds remaining before Carroll mounted a 15-0 run to square the score at 57-57 with 2:19 left, finished off by consecutive 3-pointers by Kevin Hurd.

Brandon Gries' jumper in the lane with 2:03 to go put the Green Knights back ahead 59-57. Carroll's Caleb Zeegers split a pair of free throws with 1:48 to go, and Paul Appleton's 3-pointer from the right win with 1:18 left put St. Norbert ahead 62-58.

Carroll missed five shots on its next possession, but stole the ball at mid-court. Zeegers' layup brought the Pioneers to within 62-60 with 37 seconds left. Gries made two free throws with 32 seconds left, and Zeegers followed with a hoop with 26 seconds to go. Appleton split two free throws with 17 seconds left, and the Green Knights' defense stood firm when Hurd had to force a 30-foot 3-pointer with 3 seconds left and the ball did not draw iron to end the game.

Gries led St. Norbert with 24 points and eight rebounds after missing Wednesday's loss to Beloit with an injury. Gries was a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. Garrett Thorn added 16 points and Appleton 11. St. Norbert was 23-for-58 (39.7 percent) from the floor.

Carroll got 15 points and eight rebounds from Hurd, while Zeegers had 12 points off the bench. The Pioneers shot 37 percent (20-for-54) from the floor and outrebounded the Green KNights 44-32, but had 18 turnovers.