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Green Knights Top Northwestern In NCAA Opener; St. Olaf Looms Saturday

From Sports Information Director, March 4, 2016 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College won its NCAA Division III Tournament first-round game for the second time in three seasons with an impressive 77-58 win over University of Northwestern-St. Paul at Schuldes Sports Center.

The Green Knights (24-2), ranked No. 7 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, will face St. Olaf College (19-9) at 7 p.m. Saturday in a second-round game. St. Olaf topped North Central College 80-78 in the other first-round game at Schuldes Sports Center. Tickets for Saturday's game are available until 3 p.m. online at tickets.snc.edu and at the door starting at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for St. Norbert students are free at the door with an ID.

St. Norbert trailed 6-2 early before going on a 9-0 run to take the lead. A pair of 3-pointers from D.J. DeValk and Ben Bobinski fueled the run. Northwestern trailed 22-21 with 6:50 left in the half but couldn't retake the lead.

St. Norbert broke open a close game late in the first half. The Green Knights held a 25-23 lead with 4:27 remaining in the half before going on an 11-2 run to close out the period. Bobinski hit a pair of free throws and converted a layup during the run. DeValk added a layup and then hit a jumper just before the buzzer to lead 36-25 at halftime.

The Green Knights extended their lead to start the second half on a layup by Tim Marshall and a 3-pointer from Mitchell Reinthaler just 1:12 into the half for a 41-25 advantage. Northwestern (22-6) would immediately trim its deficit down to 12 at 43-31, but the Green Knights went on a 7-0 run to take firm control. A free throw from Terrence Garner and 3-pointers from DeValk and Bobinski put St. Norbert ahead 50-31 with 12:56 left.

Northwestern, who entered the game averaging 81.4 points per game with six different players netting double figures in scoring, would get no closer than 17 points the rest of the game. St. Norbert's biggest lead came at 70-46 with 5:27 remaining.

Bobinski led all scorers with 22 points, with 16 coming before halftime. DeValk added 20 points while Garner finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. St. Norbert shot 47.3 percent (26-for-55) from the floor for the game.

Northwestern shot 39.7 percent (23-for-58) from the floor. Will Gisler paced the Eagles with 12 points and 13 rebounds, while Michael Carney added 11 points.