Green Knights Beat the System, Top Grinnell

From Sports Information Director, February 9, 2008 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - The St. Norbert College men's basketball team picked up a key win with a 123-106 triumph over Grinnell College in a Midwest Conference game at Schuldes Sports Center.

The win, along with other league action, moved St. Norbert into third place in the MWC at 8-5. The Green Knights are tied with Grinnell (12-7, 7-5) in the loss column and lead Lake Forest by one game in the loss column.

St. Norbert used a big first half to key the win. Grinnell cut a deficit to 31-30 on a John Grotberg 3-pointer with 8:09 left before halftime, but from there the hosts would go on a 32-9 run to take a 62-39 lead with 1:07 left before halftime.

The Green Knights led 64-44 at halftime and then opened the second half on an 11-1 run when they scored baskets on five consecutive possessions. St. Norbert would open its lead to as much as 31 points at 88-57 with 14:07 left to play.

Grinnell would mount a rally, making six 3-pointers over the next four minutes to cut the deficit down to 94-81 with 10:28 left. St. Norbert weathered the storm briefly to take a 20-point lead with 8:15 left, but the Pioneers would cut it to 11 on two separate occasions inside five minutes left. Grinnell would trail 113-102 with 3:23 left but a Bryan Fleischmann layup with 3:02 left but the Green Knights up 13 and sealed the win.

St. Norbert shot a strong 75.9 percent from the field, making 41 of 54 shots - virtually all layups. The Green Knights did not attempt a 3-pointer, and also cashed in on 41 of 49 free throws. Eric Bieniasz pumped in a career-high 34 points and also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. Fleischmann and Tom Katzfey each had 16 points, while Mike Dowden added 13. St. Norbert held a commanding 49-23 rebounding advantage.

Grinnell shot 39 percent from the floor, making 32 of 82 shots. The Pioneers were 21-for-51 from beyond the three-point arc and were 21-for-30 at the free-throw line. Bobby Long led Grinnell with 25 points, while David Arseneault added 21 points and Grotberg 18.