St. Norbert's Big Second Half Lifts It to MWC Title Game

From Sports Information Director, February 28, 2014 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College rallied from a 17-point deficit in the first half to claim a 74-68 win over Carroll University in the semifinals of the Midwest Conference Tournament at Schuldes Sports Center.

The Green Knights (23-1), ranked No. 5 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, won for the 21st consecutive time. St. Norbert will face Grinnell College (19-5) in the championship game at 3 p.m. Saturday. Carroll, which lost by totals of seven, six and six points to St. Norbert this season, saw its season end at 15-9.

St. Norbert found itself in dire straits when it trailed the Pioneers 36-19 with 4:37 left in the first half after Carroll's Bryan Nagy canned a 3-pointer. St. Norbert's Andrew Schwoerer canned a 3-pointer but Carroll's Andrew Nottling countered with a basket to make it 38-22.

Kam Cerroni canned a 3-pointer with 3:29 left to cut it to 38-25, which started a 14-5 run to close out the half. Brandon Gries' 3-pointer with 38 seconds left sent the Green Knights into intermission trailing 43-36.

St. Norbert hung around to start the second half, trailing 54-46 with 14:13 to go after Nottling, who had 16 points at halftime, scored his only basket of the second half. The Green Knights went on an 8-0 run to tie the game. Gries connected on a 3-pointer and then hit a layup to bring St. Norbert within three. Schwoerer converted a conventional three-point play with 10:26 left to knot the game at 54-54.

Carroll's Alec Molter hit two free throws but Schwoerer canned another jumper to square the game at 56-56. Neither team scored again until Cerroni hit a 3-pointer in transition with 8:06 to go to give the Green Knights their first lead at 59-56.

St. Norbert held the lead the rest of the way, and led 65-64 with 2:15 left when the Pioneers' Kyle Keranen split a pair of free throws. Schwoerer made a basket, and after a defensive stop Gries drained a jumper with 1:19 to go for a 69-64 lead to salt the win.

Gries finished with 24 points to lead all scorers. Schwoerer had 22 points off the bench with seven rebounds, while Cerroni added 14 points. The Green Knights, who did not have a turnover in the second half, finished with six miscues. St. Norbert shot 53.2 percent from the floor, making 25 of 47 field-goal attempts.

Carroll was led by Nottling, who had 18 points. Kevin Hurd had 16 points, while Nagy added 12 and Keranen 10. Carroll also shot 25-for-47 from the floor, but was just 8-for22 (36.4 percent) in the second half. The Pioneers made their first 15-for-20 field-goal attempts to start the game.