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Green Knights Advance to MWC Championship Game for Sixth Straight Year

From Sports Information Director, February 27, 2015 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College advanced to the championship game of the Midwest Conference Tournament for the sixth consecutive year with an 85-74 win over Ripon College in a league semifinal at Schuldes Sports Center.

The Green Knights (23-1), ranked No. 3 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, advanced to play Grinnell College in the tournament championship at 6 p.m. Saturday at Schuldes Sports Center.

Ripon (15-9) gave St. Norbert all it could handle, taking a pair of six-point leads in the early going. The Red Hawks led 13-7 on a Kyle Loughrin basket just under 5 minutes into the game. The Green Knights went on a 10-0 run to take a 17-13 lead at the 11:51 mark, spurred by consecutive 3-pointers by Ben Bobinski and Austin Elliott.

St. Norbert held a 19-18 lead at the 10:40 mark before Andrew Schwoerer led the host on a 13-2 run all by himself. Schwoerer started with a pair of hoops before canning a 3-pointer for a 26-18 lead. Schwoerer then had a pair of baskets around on a Loughrin basket to take a 32-20 lead with 7:02 left before halftime. St. Norbert led by as many as 14 points before settling on a 40-32 halftime lead.

Ripon hung around the entire second half, getting to within three points on two occasions, the last at 53-50 with 12:52 to go. The Red Hawks pulled to within 66-62 on a Loughrin jumper with 5:34 left, but Terrence Garner followed with a pair of free throws and a fast-break layup for a 70-62 lead with 5:00 to go. The Red Hawks got to within five at 79-74 with 56 seconds to go, but St. Norbert closed out the game by making all six of its free throws.

Steven Hofacker led the Green Knights with 24 points, while Schwoerer added 22 points. D.J. DeValk chipped in 14 points. St. Norbert shot 50.8 percent (30-for-59) from the floor and was 19-for-23 (82.6 percent) at the free-throw line.

Ripon shot 40.6 percent (28-for-69) from the floor and made 10 of 23 three-point field goals (43.5 percent). Loughrin led the Red Hawks with 29 points, while Ty Sabin added 17 points.