St. Norbert Returns to NCAA Tournament With Rout of Carroll

From Sports Information Director, February 23, 2013 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the third time in four years with a sound 92-68 win over Carroll University in the championship game of the Midwest Conference Tournament at Schuldes Sports Center.

St. Norbert won the rematch of last year's MWC Tournament championship game, won by Carroll. The Green Knights are making their fifth overall NCAA Division III Tournament appearance. Tournament pairings by the NCAA will be released at 11:30 a.m. Monday.

The Green Knights (20-5) trailed only once in the game - at 3-2 - and ended up shooting a lusty 60 percent from the floor, making 33 of 55 field-goal attempts.

St. Norbert slowly pulled away in the first half before exploding for a 16-2 run to take a 39-20 lead with 2:44 left before halftime. Carroll closed the half on a 7-0 run to go into halftime trailing 39-27.

Carroll employed full-court pressure the entire second half and got to within 10 at 41-31 with 18:43 left. St. Norbert went on another big run, this one at 12-2 to take a 53-33 advantage with 14:46 to go on a Brandon Gries putback. The Pioneers got one point on a free throw and St. Norbert scored the next seven points for a 61-34 bulge with 11:38 left. Carroll (18-7) would get no closer than 17 points the rest of the game.

Gries led St. Norbert with 21 points and nine rebounds. Andrew Schwoerer added 15 points, while Paul Appleton and Andy Fox each had 11 points. St. Norbert, who made 23 of 30 free throws, outrebounded Carroll 38-25.

Rudy Bentley led Carroll with 13 points, while Bryan Nagy added 12 points and Andrew Nottling 11. Carroll, who defeated Grinnell 92-89 in a semifinal on Friday, shot 43.3 percent (26-for-60) from the floor. Since 2002, the team that has defeated Grinnell in the semifinals has gone 0-7 in the championship game.