St. Norbert Outlasts Northern Michigan

Bieniasz's 21 points leads Green Knights

From Sports Information Director, December 17, 2007 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College picked up its first win over Northern Michigan University since 1980 with a 59-50 overtime win at Schuldes Sports Center. The Green Knights posted their first win over a NCAA Division II opponent since Nov. 22, 2002 and their first triumph over Northern Michigan since Feb. 21, 1980.

The Green Knights and Wildcats were involved in a tough defensive battle that saw regulation end in a 44-all stalemate. Jake Suardini put Northern Michigan up by a deuce on the first possession of overtime, but St. Norbert answered to take control thereafter. Dave Wipperfurth hit a jumper to tie the game for the 11th time at 46-46. After another defensive stop, Tony Jandron hit a pair of free throws to put the Green Knights up by a pair with 3:54 left. With 2:50 left in overtime Tyler Kazmierkoski was slapped with a technical foul to foul him out of the game and Eric Bieniasz made both free throws for a 50-46 advantage. Wipperfurth then canned a 3-pointer from in front of the St. Norbert bench on the same possession for a seven-point lead with 2:17 left to play. Northern Michigan would get no closer the rest of the way.

St. Norbert led 24-22 at halftime and took a 34-30 lead with 13:34 left in the half on consecutive 3-pointers by Mike Dowden and Jandron. Northern Michigan then went on a 10-0 run over the next five minutes to take a 40-34 lead with 8:22 left. St. Norbert then answered with a 7-0 run over the next six minutes to take a slim 41-40 lead on a conventional three-point play by Eric Bieniasz with 3:09 left in regulation.

Suardini's layup with 1:57 left put the Wildcats up 42-41 with 1:57 left, but Bieniasz countered with a double-pump, off-balance 3-pointer with the shot clock set to expire for a 44-42 lead with 37 seconds left. Suardini's layup with 23 seconds left tied the game. St. Norbert did not score as time expired in regulation.

Bieniasz had a game-high 21 points, while Jandron had 14 points. Tom Katzfey scored 10 points. Wipperfurth had all five of his points in overtime and had a game-high 11 rebounds. St. Norbert shot 35.3 percent from the floor, making 18 of 51 shots.

Northern Michigan was led by Suardini's 18 points, while Darren Jones added 12 points. The Wildcats shot 40 percent from the floor, making 22 of 55 shots, but were just 2-for-17 on 3-pointers.