Late First Half Run Lifts St. Norbert Past Lawrence

From Sports Information Director, January 4, 2014 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College finished the first half on a decisive run to lead to an 81-68 Midwest Conference win over Lawrence University at Schuldes Sports Center.

The Green Knights (9-1, 5-0 MWC), ranked No. 14 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, finished the first half on a 19-2 to take a 41-30 lead at halftime. St. Norbert senior guard Brandon Gries also scored his 1,000th career point on his first basket of the game, making him the 26th player in school history to reach that plateau.

Lawrence made seven of its first 10 three-point field-goal attempts to build a 28-22 lead on a 3-pointer by Jamie Nikitas with 6:24 left in the half. St. Norbert went on a 10-0 spurt to take a 32-28 lead with 2:31 left in the half, with Izaiah Anderson's basket putting the Green Knights ahead for the first time since the early going.

Nikitas scored with 2:08 to go to trim the deficit to 32-30, but St. Norbert senior guard delivered a reeling blow in the final two minutes. Cerroni drained three consecutive 3-pointers, the last one coming from NBA distance to bring the Schuldes Sports Center crowd to its feet, to single-handedly key a 9-0 run for a 41-30 lead at the break.

Lawrence (5-5, 3-2 MWC) got to within eight on two occasions and trailed by nine at 48-39 with 15:06 left, but another Cerroni triple gave the Green Knights a 12-point lead and they would never trail by less than 11 the rest of the game.

Cerroni finished with 23 points, and canned seven 3-pointers - one short of the school record. Austin Elliott totaled 15 points. Gries ended with 12 points, while Andrew Schwoerer scored 11 points and snatched a game-high nine rebounds. St. Norbert shot 55.8 percent from the floor, making 29 of 52 shots, and was 11-for-19 (57.9 percent) from beyond the three-point arc.

Lawrence shot 43.4 percent from the floor, making 23 of 53 shots. Nikitas totaled 22 points, while Ryan DePouw had 16 points. The Vikings, who made 12 of 25 (48.0 percent) of their 3-pointers, were outrebounded 35-20.