Green Knights Grind Out Win at Lawrence to Clinch MWC Title Share

From Sports Information Director, February 5, 2014 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

APPLETON - St. Norbert College used a big run in each half to hold off a determined Lawrence University squad by a 79-69 decision at Alexander Gymnasium. The Green Knights clinched a share of their fourth Midwest Conference title in five years with the win.

St. Norbert (18-1, 14-0 MWC), despite second-leading scorer Brandon Gries missing the game to injury, tied a school record with its 16th consecutive win. The Green Knights have started 18-1 only one other time in school history, in the 2009-10 season.

Lawrence (8-10, 6-7 MWC), which lost for the 10th straight time to the Green Knights, had control early. Max Burgess' second 3-pointer of the game gave the Vikings a 24-14 lead midway through the first half. St. Norbert then went on a 18-3 run over the next 6 minutes 11 seconds to take a 32-27 lead on an Andrew Schwoerer basket. Austin Elliott had nine of his 18 first-half points during the run. St. Norbert eventually settled on a 41-36 halftime lead.

The Vikings came again in the second half, taking a 51-50 lead with 13:20 left on a Ryan DePouw basket. Kam Cerroni countered for the Green Knights on their next possession with a 3-pointer, which started a 16-3 run. Cerroni had 12 of the Green Knights' points during the run, including another triple to put St. Norbert up 64-54 with 7:35 to go. The Vikings would get no closer than eight points the rest of the way.

Cerroni and Elliott both led St. Norbert with 21 points, while Schwoerer added 20 points. Cerroni was 10-for-10 at the free-throw line, extending his consecutive free-throw streak to 39 to break Mike Heun's old St. Norbert record of 36 set in 1996-97. Elliott's total matched his career high. The Green Knights shot 53.1 percent from the floor, making 26 of 49 field-goal attempts. St. Norbert was 22-for-28 (78.6 percent) at the free-throw line, outdistancing Lawrence at the charity stripe, where the Vikings were 4-for-6.

DePouw paced the Vikings with 15 points, while Brian Gryszkiewicz had 14 points and Burgess 12. Lawrence shot 45.6 percent (26-for-57) from the floor but was 46.4 percent (13-for-28) from beyond the three-point arc.