St. Norbert Outlasts Knox to Win Tenth Straight

From Sports Information Director, January 16, 2009 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

GALESBURG, Ill. - St. Norbert College methodically wore down a game Knox College squad to claim a 64-53 Midwest Conference win at Memorial Gym.

The Green Knights, ranked No. 17 nationally by D3hoops.com, won their tenth straight game. The winning streak for St. Norbert (11-1, 5-0 MWC) is the fourth winning streak of at least 10 games in school history. Knox dropped to 0-12, 0-6.

St. Norbert led 28-22 at halftime but the Prairie Fire scored the first two baskets of the second half to trail 28-26. St. Norbert went on a 13-5 run to take a 41-31 lead with 13:34 left. Tom Katzfey's conventional three-point play and Dave Wipperfurth's 3-pointer were big plays in the run.

Knox cut it to 41-34 on a Ben Wetherbee 3-pointer with 12:29 left, but Wipperfurth canned a jumper, Jake Dietz made two free throws, Wipperfurth hit another jumper, Bryan Fleischmann a basket and two more Dietz free throws on St. Norbert's next five possessions for a 51-34 advantage with 9:24 left.

St. Norbert led by as many a 24 points at 60-36 with 4:25 left to play before the starters were rested for Saturday's showdown at Grinnell. The Green Knights led 64-41 with 1:54 left before Knox closed the game on a consolation 12-0 run.

Knox gave St. Norbert all it could handle in the early going, leading 12-7 six minutes into the game. Fleischmann's 3-pointer gave St. Norbert a 15-14 lead with 9:28 left in the half. Knox whittled a seven-point deficit late in the first half to three with 17 seconds left, but John Taylor canned a 3-pointer with 4 second left in the half to send St. Norbert into the locker room ahead 28-22.

In a low-possession game, St. Norbert managed just 35 field-goal attempts. The Green Knights made 20 for a 57.1 percent showing. St. Norbert was 19-for-23 at the free-throw line and outrebounded Knox 24-18. Katzfey led St. Norbert with 17 points, while Wipperfurth came off the bench to add 12 points.

Wetherbee came off the bench for Knox, scoring 13 points to be the only Fireman in double figures. The Prairie Fire shot 20-for-48 from the floor, good for 41.7 percent.