Furious Rally Lifts Green Knights Past Ripon

From Sports Information Director, February 12, 2013 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College fell behind 15-2 to open the game but clawed its way back to claim a 57-52 Midwest Conference win on Connie Tilley Court at Schuldes Sports Center.

The Green Knights (17-5, 14-3 MWC) can clinch at least share of the Midwest Conference title with a win Saturday at Illinois College. Ripon (13-10, 11-7) clinched a berth in the MWC Tournament by virtue of Beloit's loss to Carroll tonight.

St. Norbert missed nine of its first 10 shots from the floor as well as two free throws and Ripon made six of its first 10 shots as well as three free throws to build a 15-2 lead just 8 minutes 10 seconds into the game. The Green Knights rallied to get to within five at 21-16 with 6:10 left before halftime, but had to settle for a 30-23 deficit at intermission.

Ripon pushed its lead back to 11 points at 36-25 with 15:22 to go before the Green Knights made a decisive charge. The Green Knights reeled off 14 straight points, and took a 37-36 lead with 10:52 remaining on a conventional three-point play by Brandon Gries. The Red Hawks countered with a 7-2 run of their own to take a 43-39 lead with 8:34 left, but St. Norbert came again with an 8-0 run. Izaiah Anderson hit a short jumper, and Paul Appleton canned consecutive 3-pointers for a 47-43 lead with 6:57 left and the Green Knights would never trail again.

Ripon got to within two inside 30 seconds, but St. Norbert made 5 of 6 free throws to salt away the hard-fought victory.

Gries led St. Norbert with 14 points. Appleton had 12 points off the bench, and became the first player in St. Norbert history to play in 100 career games - all consecutively. Anderson added 12 points and nine rebounds. St. Norbert shot 34.5 percent (19-for-55) from the floor and was 14 of 21 (66.7 percent) at the free-throw line. Rebounding between the two teams was a stalemate at 36-36.

Brad Brooks led Ripon with 16 points, while Taylor Koth added 12 points and Kyle Loughrin 10. The Red Hawks shot 35.2 percent (19-for-54) from the floor but made only 8 of 25 (32 percent) of its shots in the second half. The Red Hawks scored only 37 points in the last 32:50 of the game.