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Late Surge Lifts St. Norbert Past Illinois College

From Sports Information Director, December 22, 2015 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College withstood an Illinois College challenge by dominating the last four minutes of the game to pull away for a 76-67 Midwest Conference win at Schuldes Sports Center.

The Green Knights (8-1, 6-0 MWC), ranked No. 23 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, extended their winning streak against Midwest Conference opponents to 50 and their home winning streak against the MWC to 33.

St. Norbert found itself in dire straits against the Blueboys (3-5, 1-4), trailing 50-45 with 8:35 remaining. The Green Knights didn't trail by a larger margin and eventually worked to a 60-58 lead on a Tim Marshall conventional three-point play with 4:06 to go. Illinois College got a layup from David Bauer with 3:56 left to knot the score at 60-60, the sixth and final tie of the game.

Following a St. Norbert timeout, Terrence Garner started an 8-0 run with a layup. The Green Knights followed with a defensive stop and a layup from D.J. DeValk with 3:10 to go. Brett O'Sullivan then converted two free throws with 2:39 remaining, and Garner's hoop with 1:55 to go put St. Norbert ahead 68-60 with 1:55 left. Illinois College would not get closer than six points the rest of the way, as St. Norbert made 8 of 9 free-throw attempts in the final 1:09.

St. Norbert took a 25-12 lead with 8:37 left in the first half on a Ben Bobinski layup. The Blueboys then went on a 15-4 run to close the first half as St. Norbert went 2-for-11 from the floor in that stretch and led 29-27 at halftime.

The Green Knights opened the second half on a 9-2 run to take a 38-29 lead, but Illinois College countered with an 11-0 run to take a 40-38 edge on a 3-pointer by Payton Dugan with 14:27 remaining. There were six lead changes the rest of the way.

DeValk led St. Norbert with 22 points. Garner finished one assist shy of a triple-double, posting 12 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists along with three steals. Seth Taylor and Josh Hillis had 11 points apiece. The Green Knights shot 46.2 percent (24-for-52) from the floor and were 22-for-26 (84.6 percent) at the free-throw line.

Cody Hildebrand led the Blueboys with 24 points, while Bauer added 11 points and Dugan 10. The Blueboys shot 41 percent (25-for-61) from the floor and committed just nine turnovers.