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Green Knights Claim Outright MWC Championship

From Sports Information Director, February 9, 2016 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

LAKE FOREST, Ill. - St. Norbert College put the finishing touches on winning the outright Midwest Conference championship for 2015-16 with an impressive 69-44 win over Lake Forest College at the LFC Sports Center.

The Green Knights (19-2, 16-0 MWC) won their fourth straight MWC title and their sixth in the last seven years. St. Norbert is the first team in 65 years to win four consecutive MWC men's basketball titles, marking the first time it has been done since Beloit College won six in a row from 1946-51.

The win was also St. Norbert's 60th consecutive win against a Midwest Conference opponent, just one win shy of the record for consecutive conference wins held by a current NCAA Division III team. Wheaton College won 61 consecutive College Conference of Illinois games in the late 1950s.

St. Norbert never trailed and was never tied. Ben Bobinski hit a pair of 3-pointers on the Green Knights' first four possessions for a 6-0 lead early. The Foresters trailed 13-11 just over 8 minutes into the game, but a quick 6-0 run by St. Norbert on baskets by Mitchell Reinthaler, Brian Luteyn and Bobinski pushed the lead to 19-11.

The Foresters (10-9, 8-7) got back to within three at 19-16, but a hoop by D.J. DeValk, a 3-pointer by Dakota Oskey and a layup by Reinthaler put St. Norbert ahead 26-16 with 5:30 left in the half. The Green Knights took a 33-24 lead into halftime.

St. Norbert opened the second half on a 13-3 run over the first 8 1/2 minutes of the period to take a 46-27 lead with 11:29 remaining. DeValk had seven of St. Norbert's points during the run, while Mitch Winter also canned a 3-pointer. The Foresters wouldn't get closer than 14 points the rest of the way.

The Green Knights shot 44.8 percent (26-for-58) from the floor. Bobinski led St. Norbert with 17 points, while DeValk added 16 points and Reinthaler 12 points. Terrence Garner did not score but totaled eight rebounds and 11 assists. It was St. Norbert's first 11-assist performance since Drew Demerath's 11 helpers against Monmouth College on Jan. 16, 2004.

Lake Forest shot 14-for-46 (30.4 percent) from the floor. No Forester reached double figures in the scoring column, with Eric Porter's nine points leading the way.