Late Surge Pushes Green Knights Past Grinnell, Win Streak at 11

From Sports Information Director, January 17, 2009 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

GRINNELL, Iowa - A late 14-0 run was enough to break open a closely fought game, lifting St. Norbert College to a pivotal 107-96 win over Grinnell College in a Midwest Conference game at Darby Gym. It is the team's only scheduled meeting this season.

St. Norbert, ranked 17th in the D3hoops.com Top 25, won its 11th-straight game to improve to 12-1 overall and 6-0 in the MWC. Grinnell dropped to 8-5 overall and 5-2 in the MWC, and was swept at home on the weekend by Carroll and St. Norbert.

Grinnell held an 86-85 lead with 5 minutes 20 seconds left before the Green Knights made their move. Bryan Fleischmann's layup with 5:05 left gave St. Norbert an 87-86 lead. From there, Grinnell would miss its next six shots, including four 3-pointers.

The Pioneers, who fouled 33 times in the game, put the Green Knights at the free-throw line in the next four possessions after Fleischmanns basket. Mike Dowden's conventional three-point play gave St. Norbert a 90-86 lead. John Taylor, Kyle Johnsen and Fleischmann then all made a pair of free throws to give St. Norbert a 96-86 lead with 2:52 to go.

Grinnell guard David Arseneault missed a layup with 2:39 left and was whistled for a foul on the rebound, his fifth. Arseneault was then slapped with a technical foul, and the Grinnell bench then followed with a technical of its own. The Green Knights made three of six free throws in the sequence for a 99-86 lead with 2:38 to play and essentially seal the game.

The first half saw five ties and 11 lead changes as Grinnell took a 51-50 lead into intermission. The Pioneers led by as many as nine points at 39-30 before St. Norbert answered with an 11-0 run to take a 41-39 lead.

Neither team led by more than four points in the first 15 minutes of the second half until St. Norbert pulled away in the final five minutes.

St. Norbert scored its 107 points despite taking just 47 shots from the field. The Green Knights made 32, good for 68.1 percent. St. Norbert, which had just 22 turnovers against Grinnell's full-court pressure, canned a staggering 43 of 52 free-throw attempts. Fleischmann and Jake Dietz each scored 22 points to lead St. Norbert. Dietz was 14-for-14 at the free-throw line. Kyle Johnsen added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Green Knights' first double-double of the season. St. Norbert outrebounded Grinnell 51-27.

Grinnell made 31 of 85 field goals (36.5 percent), and was 20-for-55 (36.4 percent) from beyond the three-point arc. John Grotberg led Grinnell with 26 points, while Bobby Long had 25. Both Grotberg and Long had seven 3-pointers apiece. Grinnell had just three players scoring in double figures.