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Big Second Half Lifts St. Norbert Past St. Scholastica

From Sports Information Director, December 29, 2014 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College shot 60 percent in the second half to break open a close game en route to an 82-55 win over College of St. Scholastica on the first night of the Nicolet National Bank Holiday Tournament at Schuldes Sports Center.

The Green Knights (9-0), ranked No. 18 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, won their 29th consecutive regular-season game and their 32nd game in their last 33 overall outings. St. Norbert will face John Carroll University in the championship game at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The Blue Streaks (6-2) topped UW-Stout 87-79 in the opener.

St. Norbert fought through a sluggish first half, holding a 37-32 lead at halftime. The Green Knights, who led 29-21 with 6:20 left before intermission, saw that lead disappear with an 11-3 Saints' run to knot the game at 32-32. D.J. DeValk's 3-pointer with 1:02 left in the half capped off a 5-0 run to end the first 20 minutes.

The Green Knights led 39-34 with 18:00 left before embarking on a 12-0 run to put the game out of reach. Steven Hofacker scored the first four points of the run, while DeValk added a conventional three-point play for a 46-34 lead with 16:59 to go. Mitch Winter canned a long jumper, Hofacker split a pair of free throws and DeValk hit another hoop for a 51-34 edge with 14:46 remaining. The Saints (3-6) would get no closer than 15 points the rest of the way.

St. Norbert, Division III's top shooting team from the floor entering the game, made 15 of 25 field-goal attempts in the second half, and connected on 29 of 51 (56.9 percent) overall. DeValk and Andrew Schwoerer had 16 points apiece, while Ben Bobinski added 13 points off the bench. St. Norbert also held a 36-22 rebounding advantage.

St. Scholastica shot 36.5 percent (19-for-52), including 7-for-23 (30.4 percent) in the second half. Marc Peterson led the Saints with 12 points, while Joe Stark added 10 points.