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Green Knights Set NCAA Division III Record With 62nd-Straight Win Against Conference Foes

From Sports Information Director, February 20, 2016 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa - St. Norbert College set a record for consecutive wins against conference opponents by a NCAA Division III school when it won for the 62nd-straight time versus a Midwest Conference foe with a 72-62 win over Cornell College.

The Green Knights (21-2, 18-0 MWC) surpassed the previous record of 61, held since the late 1950s by Wheaton (Ill.) College in College Conference of Illinois play. St. Norbert has not lost against a MWC foe since a 104-99 overtime loss on Feb. 9, 2013 at Grinnell College.

St. Norbert also finished 18-0 in the Midwest Conference's regular season for the third consecutive year, the only three times in the 95-year history of the league a men's basketball team has won 18 games in conference play.

"I'm very happy for this year's current team, as well as the players and teams that came before this group even started," St. Norbert coach Gary Grzesk said. "Those groups laid the foundation for what the current group has accomplished.

"This program is the players' program. They've worked hard for everything they've earned."

Cornell (8-15, 6-12) threw a major scare into the Green Knights and were in position to spoil the record-setting attempt. The Rams' Jan Siegien drained a 3-pointer with 4:28 remaining to knot the score 60-60, the 13th tie of the game.

Neither team scored again until D.J. DeValk's jumper with 3:23 to go gave St. Norbert the lead, and the Green Knights would close out the game on an impressive 12-2 run. Terrence Garner canned a pair of free throws with 2:41 left and Mitchell Reinthaler followed with a layup with 2:08 to go for a 2:08 lead.

Cornell's Corey Davis made a pair of free throws with 1:53 to go to cut the deficit to four, but Garner's layup with 1:34 to go put the Green Knights back in front by six. Ben Bobinski's four-point play with 27 seconds remaining were the game's final points.

Neither team led by more than four points in the first half. Cornell led 33-29 with 1:26 left in the half before St. Norbert scored six points on a conventional three-point play by Reinthaler and a 3-pointer from Bobinski to forge a 35-35 halftime tie.

St. Norbert led by six at 49-43 with 13:10 to go on a hoop by Bobinski, but Cornell would respond 14-4 run to take a 57-53 edge with 8:08 remaining. Bobinski had a pair of free throws and Garner a conventional three-point play to erase the deficit and set up the game's tense final moments.

St. Norbert shot 49.1 percent (26-for-53) from the floor. Bobinski led all scorers with a career-high 25 points. Garner finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists. DeValk had 10 points and Reinthaler finished with seven points and 10 rebounds.

Cornell shot 50 percent (22-for-44) from the floor. Craig Engle had a team-high 17 points for the Rams, who were outrebounded 30-21.