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St. Norbert Wins Triple-Overtime Thriller at Lake Forest

From Sports Information Director, November 25, 2014 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

LAKE FOREST, Ill. - St. Norbert College rallied from a seven-point deficit late in regulation time and pulled away in the third overtime period to claim a 111-103 Midwest Conference victory over Lake Forest College at the LFC Sports Center.

The Green Knights (4-0, 2-0 MWC) were able to win for the 27th time in their last 28 games thanks to a fortuitous turn of events in the waning moments of regulation time. Lake Forest (1-2, 1-1) looked to be in control after the Foresters' Andrew Toth canned a 3-pointer for a 74-67 lead with 2:41 remaining.

St. Norbert was only able to cut into the deficit by two points over the next minute, trailing 78-73 with 1:37 left, but the Foresters would miss three front ends of 1-and-1 opportunities through the end of the half to keep the Green Knights alive. Andrew Schwoerer's jumper brought the Green Knights to within 78-75 with 1:05 left, and Austin Elliott drained a 3-pointer with 22 seconds to go to tie the score. Lake Forest had two shots at a game-winning basket but came up empty.

The Green Knights held an 86-83 lead with 23 seconds left in the first overtime on a pair of Schwoerer free throws, but Toth forced a second extra session with a 3-pointer with 5 seconds to go. St. Norbert appeared to have the game in hand again late in the second overtime after leading 95-93 on a pair of Elliott free throws with 9 seconds left, but the Foresters' Mason Zuniga extended the game with a hoop with 2 seconds left - the 15th and final tie of the game.

St. Norbert, which has won 37 of its last 38 games against MWC opponents, dominated the third overtime. The Green Knights scored on all nine of their possessions of the period to outscore the Foresters 16-8. Schwoerer made two jumpers sandwiched around a Terrence Garner layup on the first three possessions for a 101-95 lead. Lake Forest would get no closer than five at 105-100 on a 3-pointer by Zuniga with 1:01 to go.

Lake Forest held the upper hand through most of the first half before St. Norbert closed the period on a 10-4 run to take a 35-34 halftime lead. St. Norbert would lead 51-44 with 16:01 left on a 3-pointer by Bryan Dalton, but the Foresters would charge back. The game was tied 63-63 with 6:00 left before Lake Forest would take its seven-point advantage prior to the Green Knights' late surge.

Schwoerer led St. Norbert with a career-high 31 points and added 10 rebounds in 52 minutes. Schowerer, who moved into 19th on the St. Norbert career scoring list at 1,078 points, netted 14 of his points during the three overtime periods. Dalton added 28 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in 44 minutes. Elliott added 16 points, eight assists and six rebounds in 52 minutes. Garner scored eight of his 10 points in the overtimes, while Mitch Winter added all seven of his points in the extra periods.

St. Norbert, which committed an amazingly low eight turnovers in the 55-minute contest, shot an even 50 percent (36-for-72) from the floor. The Green Knights were 9-for-14 (64.3 percent) from the floor in overtime and made 14 of 16 free-throws in the final 15 minutes. St. Norbert was 31-for-43 (72.1 percent) from the line for the game and was 8-for-26 (30.8 percent) from beyond the three-point arc.

Lake Forest hoisted a whopping 85 field-goal attempts thanks to a decisive 54-40 rebounding advantage. The Foresters made 37 to shoot 43.5 percent from the floor. Lake Forest was 17-for-37 (45.9 percent) from beyond the three-point arc and was 12-for-19 (63.2 percent) at the free throw line.

Jim Schick led Lake Forest with 25 points and 11 rebounds in 44 minutes. Brian Madson added 23 points and 10 rebounds in 44 minutes, while Danny Nikitas added 22 points and seven assists in 47 minutes.

The game was the fourth triple-overtime game in St. Norbert history, and only the second in the shot-clock era. The Green Knights last played three overtimes in a 100-99 win at Beloit on Feb. 10, 1990. St. Norbert lost triple-overtime games on March 3, 1984 in an 87-84 decision at UW-Whitewater in the NCAA Division III Tournament, and 84-83 on Jan. 28, 1980 at UW-Oshkosh.