St. Norbert Wins Overtime Barnburner Over Ripon

From Sports Information Director, February 5, 2008 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College's men's basketball team remained in contention for a Midwest Conference Tournament berth with a tense 77-75 overtime win over Ripon College at Schuldes Sports Center.

The Green Knights survived a bang-bang play at the buzzer, when Scott Gillespie's baseline jumper was waved off as being just after the final horn.

St. Norbert (11-7, 7-4 MWC) rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half. Ripon led 39-29 after Gillespie's 3 with 18:44 left, but St. Norbert responded with a 14-0 run. Mike Dowden hit two 3-pointers and Paul Mallers one triple during the run, which put St. Norbert ahead 43-39 with 13:17 left to play.

For the rest of regulation, neither team led by more than four points. St. Norbert led 62-58 with 2:25 left after a Mallers 3, but Ripon tied it on a pair of Gillespie free throws and a hoop with 16 second left. Bryan Fleischmann's 3-pointer with 3 seconds left in regulation fell short.

In overtime, St. Norbert got 3s from Dowden and Mallers on the Green Knights' first two possessions for a 68-62 lead. Ripon rallied, going on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 71-71 with 1:49 left. Eric Bieniasz made two free throws with 52 seconds left, and Tom Katzfey made two free throws with 25 seconds left. Ripon's Martin Esters hit a layup with 11 seconds left, and Bieniasz canned two more free throws with 10 seconds left. Gillespie hit two free throws with 6 seconds left, but Tony Jandron missed a pair of free throws with 4 seconds left to set up the game's final moment.

St. Norbert canned 13 3-pointers on the night on 27 attempts, matching its season high when it made 13 triples against Augustana. Five Green Knights scored in double figures, with Katzfey netting 21 points with 11 rebounds. Bieniasz added 15 points, Mallers 14, Dowden 12 and Fleischmann 11. St. Norbert held the rebounding edge 36-30.

Ripon, which scored 26 points off St. Norbert turnovers, made 30 of 60 field goals. Gillespie turned in a career night, scoring 27 points with eight assists and seven rebounds. Paul Wise added 17 points for the Red Hawks (8-10, 3-8).