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Gritty Green Knights Rally Late to Seize Control of MWC Race

From Sports Information Director, January 30, 2016 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

WAUKESHA - St. Norbert College rallied from a four-point deficit with just over two minutes remaining to earn a pivotal 74-72 win against Carroll University in a key Midwest Conference game at Van Male Fieldhouse.

The Green Knights (16-2, 13-0 MWC) moved two games plus the tiebreaker in front of Carroll (14-3, 10-2) in the league standings with five games to play. St. Norbert, ranked 16th in the D3hoops.com Top 25, also won its 57th consecutive game against a Midwest Conference opponent.

Sole possession of first place in the league as well as the conference winning streak were in serious jeopardy after Carroll's Ben Widdes canned a 3-pointer with 2:02 remaining to give the Pioneers a 69-65 lead. The Green Knights answered with a basket with the shot clock near expiration by Ben Bobinski with 1:29 left to cut it to 69-67.

Widdes' three-point field-goal attempt from the corner with 57 seconds remaining was offline with St. Norbert's Terrence Garner securing the rebound. The Green Knights worked the ball into Garner in the post, who converted a conventional three-point play with 41 seconds to go for a 70-69 lead.

Carroll's Marcus Johnson missed an open three-point attempt with 29 seconds left, and D.J. DeValk's two free throws were pure with 24 seconds left. The Pioneers' Kyle Keranen drove for a layup with 13 seconds left, but Ben Bobinski made his two free throws with nine seconds left for a 74-71 lead. Keranen brought the ball up the floor and was smartly fouled by DeValk with two seconds to go. Keranen made the first charity toss but missed the second intentionally, and Garner rebounded with a half-second remaining to effectively end the game.

St. Norbert trailed for all but three minutes of the first half as Carroll led by as many as seven points before settling on a 35-31 halftime lead. The Pioneers opened the second half on a 7-0 run to take a 42-31 lead with 17:43 left. St. Norbert trailed 44-33 with 15:53 to go before answering with an 8-0 run, getting a conventional three-point play from Dakota Oskey, a 3-pointer by Seth Taylor and a layup by Garner.

The Green Knights wouldn't draw even until Mitch Winter's 3-pointer with 9:23 left knotted the score at 52-52. Neither team would lead by more than four points the rest of the way.

St. Norbert shot 56 percent (14-for-25) from the floor in the second half en route to connecting 48.1 percent (25-for-52) of the time for the game. DeValk led the Green Knights with 19 points, while Mitchell Reinthaler added 16 points and Garner 10 points with nine rebounds. St. Norbert was 19-for-24 at the free-throw line while Carroll was just 7-for-12.

Carroll shot an even 50 percent (27-for-54) from the floor and was also 11-for-22 from beyond the three-point arc. Widdes led the Pioneers with 17 points. Johnson had 15 points and Bryan Nagy 13 points and eight rebounds.