Magical Season Ends in NCAA Tournament's Second Round at Illinois Wesleyan

From Sports Information Director, March 8, 2014 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - St. Norbert College saw the winningest men's basketball season in school history come to an end in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament with an 84-68 loss to Illinois Wesleyan University at Shirk Center.

The Green Knights (25-2), ranked No. 5 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, shot just 41.7 percent (20-for-48) from the floor in the loss. St. Norbert's school-record 23-game winning streak also came to an end. Illinois Wesleyan (25-4), ranked sixth, will face Calvin College next weekend in the Sweet 16.

St. Norbert held an early lead, but Illinois Wesleyan snapped a 9-9 tie on a Michael Mayberger 3-pointer with 13:35 left in the first half, and the Titans never trailed again. St. Norbert trailed 26-22 with 4:41 left in the first half but the Titans' Pat Sodemann canned a 3-pointer for a seven-point lead. The Green Knights trailed 32-25 late in the first half when Brandon Gries was called for an offensive foul with 7 seconds left, and Illinois Wesleyan's Dylan Overstreet canned a 3-pointer to give the Titans a 35-25 lead at halftime.

The Green Knights got back to within eight at 41-33 with 17:23 left, but the Titans went on a 17-5 run over the next 4:12 to take a 58-38 lead with 13:11 to go. St. Norbert didn't get closer than 12 points the rest of the way.

Kam Cerroni led St. Norbert with 19 points. Brandon Gries ended with 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Izaiah Anderson totaled 15 points. Gries finished his career with 1,257 points to rank 11th on the St. Norbert all-time scoring list, and is the most points scored by a St. Norbert player in 24 years.

The Green Knights finished the game 4-for-14 (28.6 percent) from beyond the three-point arc and were 24-for-29 (82.8 percent) at the free-throw line. St. Norbert also outrebounded Illinois Wesleyan 32-29.

Jordan Nelson led Illinois Wesleyan off the bench with 20 points. Overstreet added 16 points, while Sodemann and Mike Marietti added 12 points apiece. The Titans shot 50.8 percent (30-for-59) from the floor and were 11-for-32 (34.4 percent) from beyond the three-point arc.