St. Norbert Drops Top 25 Battle to UW-Whitewater

From Sports Information Director, November 26, 2013 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College and UW-Whitewater met in a contest between two nationally ranked teams, with the visiting Warhawks pulling out a 73-62 non-conference win at Schuldes Sports Center.

Whitewater (4-0) entered the game ranked No. 5 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, while St. Norbert (3-1) entered the game ranked No. 17.

St. Norbert led in the early going thanks to cold Whitewater shooting. The Green Knights had a 10-4 lead out of the gate and had a 16-11 edge with 9:08 remaining before halftime. The Warhawks, who made up for 22.7 percent (5-for-22) shooting from the floor in the first half, connected on 15 of 19 free throws in the first 20 minutes. Whitewater held three two-point leads in the half, and held a 26-24 edge at the break on Cody Odegaard's lay-in at the buzzer.

Whitewater forced two St. Norbert turnovers on the first two possessions of the second half to run its lead to 30-24. The Green Knights got to within two at 30-28 on baskets by Steven Hofacker and Andy Fox, but would get no closer. St. Norbert trailed 43-38 with 11:58 to go but Whitewater went on a decisive 8-0 run, finished by Alex Merg's conventional three-point play. St. Norbert would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way, trailing 62-55 with 2:40 left.

The Warhawks shot a lusty 69.6 percent from the floor in the second half, connecting on 16 of 23 field-goal attempts. Whitewater was led by K.J. Evans' 25 points and 13 rebounds. Reggie HEarn added 13 points and Eric Bryson 11.

Hofacker led St. Norbert by coming off the bench to score a career-high 17 points. Gries added 16 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. St. Norbert shot just 33.9 percent (21-for-62) from the floor, and was 4-for-23 (17.4 percent) from beyond the three-point arc.