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Green Knights Hold Off Red Hawks to Remain Unbeaten

From Sports Information Director, December 3, 2014 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

RIPON - St. Norbert College saw a 31-point second-half lead whittled down to six points but the Green Knights remained undefeated in the 2014-15 season with an 80-68 win over Ripon College in a Midwest Conference game at Storzer Center.

The Green Knights (5-0, 3-0 MWC), ranked No. 24 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, won for the 28th time in their last 29 games and improved to 38-1 in their last 39 games against Midwest Conference foes. Ripon (3-2, 1-1) lost for the 16th time in its last 18 meetings with St. Norbert.

St. Norbert held a 25-20 lead with 5:21 left in the first half before closing out the first 20 minutes of action with an impressive 19-2 kick. Bryan Dalton started the run with a pair of free throws, and Andrew Schwoerer and Austin Elliott connected on consecutive 3-pointers for a 33-20 lead with 4:04 left. Steven Hofacker connected on a jumper in the paint to put the Green Knights ahead by 15 before Ripon's Isaac Masters made a pair of free throws.

Mitch Winter and Dalton then hit on a pair of 3-pointers, and D.J. DeValk closed out the first-half scoring with a conventional three-point play with 23 seconds left and a 44-22 lead.

The Green Knights then opened the second half on a 9-0 run for an overall 28-2 run bridging both halves. Schwoerer had a pair of baskets sandwiched around a Dalton 3-pointer, and a Hofacker bucket put the Green Knights ahead 53-22 with 17:38 remaining.

From there, Ripon would mount a furious last-ditch effort to get back into the game. St. Norbert still held a lead of 20 points at 61-41 with 10:16 left, but saw that advantage melt to 11 at 63-52 with 6:11 to go. The lead remained double digits until Ripon's Jordan Stiede canned a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 72-69 with 1:41 left. The Red Haws closed to as close as six points with 1:06 left, but St. Norbert made 8 of 10 free throws down the stretch to salt away the win.

Elliott led St. Norbert with 23 points, while Schwoerer added 18 points and 12 rebounds. Dalton had 11 points, while Hofacker and DeValk both had nine points apiece. The Green Knights also held a commanding 38-25 rebounding advantage. St. Norbert shot 54 percent from the floor, making 27 of 50 field-goal attempts. The Green Knights were also 10-for-17 (58.8 percent) on three-point field goals.

Ty Sabin led Ripon with 27 points, 19 of it coming in the second half. Kyle Loughrin added 19 points for the Red Hawks, who shot 42.6 percent (26-for-61) from the field.