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Balanced Effort Leads St. Norbert Past Blackburn In Nicolet Bank Tournament Opener

From Asst. AD/Athletics Communications, December 29, 2017 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes,, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College got scoring from nine different players as the Green Knights posted a 65-52 win over Blackburn College in the Nicolet National Bank Holiday Tournament at Mulva Family Fitness & Sports Center.

The Green Knights (9-1) will face No. 11-ranked UW-Whitewater (9-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday in the championship game. Whitewater upended Finlandia University 90-60 in the tournament's other game. Finlandia and Blackburn will face each other in the consolation game at 5 p.m. Saturday.

St. Norbert led for most of the action, pulling away from an early 12-11 deficit to take the lead for good on three consecutive baskets by Brennen Banks. The Green Knights led by as many as 11 points in the first half before settling on a 32-23 halftime lead.

Blackburn (5-4) cut its deficit to 36-31 on a 3-pointer by Jake Lochhead with 16:27 to go. D.J. DeValk answered with a 3-pointer, while Taylor Penn and Mitchell Reinthaler added hoops to give the Green Knights a 43-31 edge at the 13:49 mark. The Beavers would cut their deficit down to 10 points on three different occasions, but wouldn't get to within single digits the rest of the game.

Joe Lemon led St. Norbert with 13 points and 15 rebounds, the latter a career-high total. DeValk added 13 points and six rebounds. Wade Geenen, Connor Curtis and Joe Ciriacks all added seven points apiece. The Green Knights shot 19-for-56 (33.9 percent) from the floor but were a lusty 23-for-26 (88.5 percent) at the free-throw line.

Karson Hayes and Duncan King led the Beavers with 12 points apiece. Blackburn shot 34.6 percent (18-for-52) from the floor.