Green Knights Roll Past Grinnell Into MWC Tourney Title Game

From Sports Information Director, February 24, 2012 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

LAKE FOREST, Ill. - St. Norbert College advanced to the championship game of the Midwest Conference Tournament for the third consecutive year with a 103-83 win over Grinnell College at the Lake Forest College Sports Center.

The Green Knights (16-8) won for the 10th time in their last 13 games in holding Grinnell (18-5) to its lowest point total of the season. The victory was the 100th for St. Norbert coach Gary Grzesk, who is now 100-47 in his six seasons in De Pere. St. Norbert will face Carroll University (15-9), which sprung a 77-70 surprise over Lake Forest College - the MWC regular-season champion - in the other semifinal.

St. Norbert made its decisive move in the second half following a 54-54 tie with 14 minutes 31 seconds remaining. The Green Knights went on a 10-0 run over the next 1:47 to take a 64-54 and were never in serious trouble the rest of the game. St. Norbert was 6-for-6 at the free-throw line and got hoops from Trent Monckton and Paul Appleton during the run. Grinnell missed four shots and had a turnover during the drought.

The Pioneers cut the deficit to six at 68-62 with 11:30 to go, but St. Norbert went on an 11-2 run to take a 79-64 lead with 8:20 left to take the mystery out of the outcome. The Green Knights finished off the Pioneers by making 24 of 31 free throws (77.4 percent) in the second half.

St. Norbert led 10-3 to start the game and led by as many as 13 points before settling on a 43-36 halftime lead. The Pioneers opened the second half on a 12-2 run to take a 48-45 lead early in the second half, but the Green Knights went on a 6-0 run and never trailed again.

St. Norbert shot 58.3 percent (35-for-60) from the floor and did not attempt a three-point field goal. The Green Knights were 33-for-44 (75.0 percent) from the free-throw line, held a 55-40 rebounding edge and had only 19 turnovers - a respectable total against Grinnell's full-court pressure.

Andrew Schwoerer matched his career high with 22 points and also grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds. Brandon Gries had 20 points and matched a career-high with 10 rebounds. Appleton added 14 points, Garrett Thorn 13 points and Monckton 11 points.

Grinnell was led by 20 points from Patrick Maher. The Green Knights held Grinnell scoring ace Griffin Lentsch to 14 points on 5-for-20 shooting, including 4-for-16 from beyond the three-point arc. The Pioneers shot just 33 percent (30-for-91) from the floor and were 21 percent (13-for-62) on their three-point attempts.