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St. Norbert Falls to Luther in NCAA Opener

From Sports Information Director, March 6, 2015 | Women's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

ST. PAUL, Minn. - St. Norbert College gave Luther College all it could handle but went cold late as the Green Knights dropped a 72-61 decision in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament at University of St. Thomas' Schoenecker Arena.

The Green Knights (22-4) trailed 61-59 with 4:32 to go after Tasha Giese connected on a layup, but would score only two points the rest of the way. Luther's Meagan Kopenick converted on a layup and Moran Lonning's conventional three-point play with 2:23 to go put the Norse ahead 66-59.

Brianna Byrne scored for St. Norbert with 1:36 left to pull within 66-61, but the Green Knights would get no closer. Luther (23-5) scored on its next possession and made its four free-throw attempts in the final minute to pull away.

St. Norbert built a 15-10 lead early, going ahead by that margin on a Heidi Van Sistine basket just 7:57 into the game. Luther went on a big 17-0 run over the next 6:30, taking a 27-15 lead on an Anna Madrigal 3-pointer at the 5:33 mark. St. Norbert would respond with a 15-7 run the rest of the first half to trail 34-30 at halftime.

The Green Knights eventually led 49-45 on a Stephanie Weigman basket wit 13:20 to go. St. Norbert would also lead 57-55 with 7:29 left on a Van Sistine basket, but Luther countered with a 6-0 run and never trailed again.

Tasha Giese led St. Norbert with 12 points, while Mallory Nickerson added 11 points and Van Sistine 10. The Green Knights shot 54.3 percent (25-for-46) from the floor but were undone by 20 turnovers.

Madrigal led Luther with 25 points, and went 6-for-8 from beyond the three-point arc. Meagan Koepnick added 13 points. Luther shot 36.5 percent (23-for-63) from the floor.