Team Effort Gives St. Norbert Leg Up in MWC Race, Nubs Top Carroll 76-63

From Sports Information Director, January 28, 2009 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

WAUKESHA - St. Norbert College held Carroll University to 28 points under its season scoring average with a sound 76-63 Midwest Conference road win at Van Male Fieldhouse.

The Green Knights held the Pioneers, who were averaging 90.8 points per game entering the contest, to 43.1 percent shooting. Despite scoring just one basket in the game's final five minutes, St. Norbert extended its winning streak to 14 games, tying the second-longest in school history. The Green Knights, ranked 14th by D3hoops.com, are now 15-1 overall and 9-0 in the MWC. The Pioneers, ranked 24th by D3hoops.com, fell to 13-4, 9-1. St. Norbert is now 2-0 against nationally ranked foes this season.

Carroll led 15-12 midway through the first half before Mike Dowden's 3-pointer with 9:57 left tied the score. Steve Papke's conventional three-point play gave the Green Knights a three-point lead, and the visitors would trail just once more - at 22-21 - the rest of the game. St. Norbert led 29-27 before a Jake Dietz conventional three-point play started an 11-5 run to close out the half.

St. Norbert would see its lead melt to 43-38 on a John Hoch basket with 17:25 left, but St. Norbert would gradually pull ahead. The Green Knights would take a 15-point lead with 9:58 left on a Ryan Finneke layup. Carroll would cut the deficit to 63-53 with 7:52 left on a Kyle Jones 3-pointer, but Dowden and Bryan Fleischmann would can consecutive 3s for a 69-53 lead with 6:32 to go. Finneke's layup with 4:38 left for a 76-59 lead would be St. Norbert's last points.

St. Norbert blistered the nets for a 63 percent shooting performance from the floor, canning 29 of 46 field goals. The Green Knights were 7-for-18 from long distance, and 11-for-13 at the free-throw line. All nine players who saw significant action scored for St. Norbert, with none scoring more than 13 points. Dietz paced the Green Knights with 13 points and five rebounds. Dowden added 11 points, while Finneke and Dave Wipperfurth each had 10 points apiece. St. Norbert outrebounded Carroll 29-26.

Carroll would succumb to St. Norbert's tough defense, which has allowed just 60.9 points per game this season - tops in the Midwest Conference. Nathan Zimmerman led the Pioneers with 20 points, while Hoch, who was averaging 24.2 points per game, had 17 points. The Pioneers had just five turnovers.

St. Norbert is now 5-0 on the road this season, and has allowed just one opponent to score more than 70 points this season - Grinnell's 96 on Jan. 17.