Green Knights Do It Again, Ambush 12th-Ranked Calvin in First-Round NCAA Division III Tournament Game

From Sports Information Director, March 5, 2010 | Women's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College pulled off another NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament stunner with a 78-67 first-round win over 12th-ranked Calvin College at Schuldes Sports Center.

It's the third-straight NCAA appearance the Green Knights have beaten a team ranked in the D3hoops.com Top 25. St. Norbert beat fifth-ranked Carleton in 2003's second round, and the Green Knights topped 13th-ranked UW-Stevens Point in the first round in 2008.

St. Norbert, which has won 38 of its last 39 home games, will face Stevens Point in the second round at 5 p.m. Saturday at Schuldes Sports Center. Stevens Point, ranked 23rd by D3hoops.com, topped Minnesota-Morris 86-64 in the other first-round game.

The Green Knights (23-3) survived a poor start to the game, falling behind 16-4 in the first 6 minutes 43 seconds of the game. Following a 2-2 tie, Calvin went on a 14-2 run to take its biggest lead of the game. The Knights went ahead 19-9 on an Emily Ottenhoff 3-pointer, but St. Norbert went on a 9-0 run to get back into the game trailing 19-18 with 7:32 left. Calvin went back ahead 31-22 with 4:32 left, but the Green Knights closed on a 9-2 run. Erin Baganz's conventional three-point play with 24 seconds left trimmed the halftime score to 33-31.

St. Norbert opened the second half on fire, going on a 15-2 run in the first 6 minutes of the second half for a 46-35 lead with 14:12 to go. Denise Heuser had seven points during the run. Calvin got back to within 51-44 wtih 12:01 to go on a Courtney Kurncz layup, but Stefanie Bunday's 3-pointer ignited a 10-0 run for a 61-44 lead with 9:03 to go.

Calvin, which also trailed by 17 at 65-48 with 7:22 to go, got to within 72-67 with 1:24 left but the Green Knights made all six of their free throws down the stretch to close out the win.

Bunday finished with a game-high 19 points, while Heuser added 18. Jamie Kuhl came off the bench with 14 points and eight rebounds, with 10 of her points coming in the second half. Baganz also had 12 points. St. Norbert shot a robust 64 percent in the second half, making 16 of 25 shots to score 47 second-half points. The Green Knights finished 49.1 percent (26-for-53) from the floor for the game, and outrebounded the bigger Calvin squad 35-30.

Calvin, which had 19 first-half turnovers and 27 for the game, shot 47.1 percent (24-for-51) from the floor. Calvin freshman center Carissa Verkaik, the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year, had 17 points. Brook VanEck added 14 for the Knights (24-5).