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St. Norbert Slows Down Grinnell to Return to NCAA Tournament

From Sports Information Director, February 28, 2015 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College advanced to its fifth NCAA Division III Tournament appearance in six years with a 91-73 win over Grinnell College in the championship game of the Midwest Conference Tournament at Schuldes Sports Center.

The Green Knights (24-1), ranked No. 3 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, held the Pioneers (15-10) to their lowest point total of the season. Grinnell entered the tournament leading NCAA Division III in scoring at 116.5 points per game.

St. Norbert had its hands full with a game Grinnell squad which trailed 65-59 with 8:50 to go after a Julian Marx 3-pointer, his sixth of the game. The Green Knights took command after that point, going on a 7-0 run to get out to a 13-point bulge. Ben Bobinski was fouled on a three-point field-goal attempt and converted all three free throws. Austin Elliott then made both free throws on a bonus and Bryan Dalton's spinning layup gave the Green Knights a 72-59 lead with 6:43 to go.

Grinnell got to within 13 points on a pair of occasions before St. Norbert closed the game out with a Terrence Garner dunk for an 80-63 lead with 4:30 to go.

Grinnell led 11-6 early on a 3-pointer by Marx nearly five minutes into the game. The Pioneers did not use their normal full-court pressure in the first half, opting to use triangle-and-two and box-and-one defenses to slow down St. Norbert. The Green Knights held a single-digit lead for most of the last 10 minutes of the first half before settling on a 45-35 lead at the break.

St. Norbert shot 57.1 percent from the floor, making 32 of 56 field-goal attempts. The Green Knights had just six turnovers and outrebounded the Pioneers 42-29. Garner had a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds. Elliott and Andrew Schwoerer both had 13 points, while Bobinski finished with 12 points and D.J. DeValk 10 points.

The Pioneers got a team-high 18 points from Marx. Jacob Ekstrand added 12 points and Jack Taylor 10 points. Grinnell shot 37.5 percent (24-for-64) from the floor, including 39.2 percent (20-for-51) from beyond the three-point arc.