St. Norbert Wins Double-Overtime Thriller for MWC Title Share

From Sports Information Director, February 22, 2014 | Women's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College earned a share of the Midwest Conference title the hard way, pulling out a 75-72 double-overtime win over Illinois College on Connie Tilley Court at Schuldes Sports Center.

The Green Knights (19-4, 16-2 MWC) won their record 12th MWC title, which they shared with Cornell College, and the 16th overall women's basketball conference title for head coach Connie Tilley. St. Norbert will host the MWC Tournament next weekend, and will play Carroll University at 8 p.m. Friday. Cornell and Monmouth College will play in the other semifinal at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

St. Norbert's title hopes were in dire straits after falling behind 31-21 at halftime. The Green Knights fell behind by 11 early in the second half at 34-23 before going on a 12-2 run to climb within 36-35 with 12:45 left in regulation. St. Norbert took its first lead of the game on a Stephanie Weigman jumper with 9:51 to go for a 41-39 lead.

The Green Knights led 53-48 with 3:11 left before the Lady Blues answered to knot the game at 55-55 with 1:14 to go. Maddy Keith's jumper put Illinois College ahead with 21 seconds left, but Tasha Giese split a pair of free throws with 8 seconds left to force overtime.

St. Norbert trailed by four early in the first overtime before Morgan Heim's 3-pointer cut the deficit to 61-60 with 2:15 left. The Lady Blues led 64-61 with 40 seconds left, but Heidi Van Sistine brought St. Norbert to within one with 32 seconds left. Illinois College scored a free throw, but Van Sistine's lauyp with 10 seconds left forced another overtime at 65-65.

The Green Knights didn't lead in the second overtime until Lana Tomashek swished a pair of clutch free throws with 42 seconds to go. Illinois College lost possession on an offensive foul with 24 seconds left, and Giese made two free throws for the game's final points. Keith's 3-pointer to try and tie the game was off the mark with 4 seconds left.

Van Sistine led St. Norbert with 23 points and nine rebounds. Giese had 12 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Heim ended with 12 points, while Brianna Byrne came off the bench to score 11 points. St. Norbert shot 49.1 percent (27-for-55) from the floor and outrebounded Illinois College 39-31.

Keith and Hannah McGinnis led the Lady Blues with 17 points apiece. Holly Wohltman added 16 points. The Lady Blues shot 45.9 percent (28-for-61) from the floor.