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Green Knights Charge Back To Top UW-Platteville in Nicolet National Bank Tournament Championship

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

GREEN BAY - St. Norbert College rallied from a nine-point deficit in the second half to post a pulsating 63-56 win over UW-Platteville in the championship game of the Nicolet National Bank Holiday Tournament at UW-Green Bay's Kress Events Center.

The Green Knights (7-2) won the tournament for the fifth time in its 10-year history.

St. Norbert went ice cold late in the first half and into the second half, at one point missing 17 consecutive field-goal attempts to eventually trail 30-21 with 16:43 remaining. The Green Knights' defense, the top scoring defense in NCAA Division III entering the game at 52.9 points per game, kept them in it to allow for the rally.

The Green Knights trailed 34-28 with 12:03 left before Ben Bobinski canned a 3-pointer and D.J. DeValk coaxed in a jumper to bring the score to 34-33 with 10:52 left. Platteville's Trey Sigel scored 21 seconds later, but another Bobinski triple knotted the score at 36-36 with 10:10 left.

Connor Curtis canned a 3-pointer at the 8:54 mark to put St. Norbert ahead 39-36, a lead it would never relinquish. Platteville's Matt Oestreich hit a pair of free throws to bring the Pioneers (7-4) to within one, but Curtis canned another triple for a 42-38 lead with 7:51 to go.

St. Norbert eventually pushed its lead to a nine-point bulge at 55-46 with 2:49 to go after a pair of Curtis free throws. The Green Knights would never hold less than a five-point lead the rest of the way.

The Green Knights survived a highly physical first half that saw them score one point in the final 8:27 of the half to trail 25-18 at intermission.

Curtis led St. Norbert with 19 points and was named the tournament's most valuable player. Bobinski and DeValk were also named all-tournament after scoring 18 and 10 points, respectively. The Green Knights shot 38.9 percent (21-for-54) from the floor but were 14-for-27 (51.9 percent) in the second half. St. Norbert also held a 34-31 rebounding advantage and had just seven turnovers.

Platteville shot 39.1 percent (18-for-46) from the floor. Sigel had a team-high 13 points. Sigel and Robert Duax were named to the all-tournament team, along with the University of Northwestern's Will Gisler.