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St. Norbert Drops Season-Opening Heartbreaker at UW-Eau Claire

From Sports Information Director, November 15, 2016 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

EAU CLAIRE - St. Norbert College couldn't hold a late lead and ended up dropping a tough 68-67 decision at UW-Eau Claire in a non-conference game before an announced crowd of 3,005 at Zorn Arena.

The Green Knights, ranked No. 4 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, held a 67-66 lead on Taylor Penn's layup with 1:19 remaining. Eau Claire answered with a hoop by Josh Weix with 50 seconds left. St. Norbert had a turnover on its next possession but Eau Claire missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 17 seconds left.

St. Norbert had a pair of shots in the closing seconds to steal the win, but shots by D.J. DeValk and Terrence Garner were off the mark.

The Green Knights held only one lead in the first half - at 17-15 - and found themselves trailing 34-27 at halftime. St. Norbert then trailed 41-34 with 16:11 remaining before going on a 12-2 run to take a 46-43 lead with 12:04 to go.

St. Norbert eventually led 53-47 with 8:58 left on a 3-pointer by Ben Bobinski, but Eau Claire charged back with consecutive 3-pointers by Chris Duff and George Diekelman to knot the score at 53-53. St. Norbert again pushed the lead back to five at 63-58 on another Bobinski triple with 4:42 to go, but the Green Knights would score just four points the rest of the way.

The Green Knights shot 42.2 percent (27-for-64) from the floor. DeValk had 16 points, while Mitchell Reinthaler added 13 points, Penn 12 points and Bobinski 10 bounds. St. Norbert had a 35-27 rebounding advantage.

Eau Claire shot a lusty 58.1 percent from the floor, making 25 of 43 shots. Duff had 17 points, while Josh Weix added 14 points and Diekelman 13.