Green Knights Hang On in Win over Illinois College

From Sports Information Director, January 18, 2008 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - Despite a 29-point first half lead, St. Norbert College had to hang on to pull out a 72-67 win over Illinois College in a Midwest Conference men's basketball game at Schuldes Sports Center. The Green Knights won their fifth straight home game and are now 7-6 overall and 3-3 in the MWC. Illinois College fell to 7-5, 3-2.

Illinois College scored 49 points in the second half to nearly erase the huge early deficit. St. Norbert led 39-10 with 4:29 left in the first half, but Jacob Tucker scored eight points in the final four minutes of the half to bring the Blueboys to within 40-18 at the break. St. Norbert shot 50 percent in the first half, making 14 of 28 shots.

St. Norbert held a 25-point lead at 47-22 with 17:40 left to play before Illinois College mounted a furious rally. The Blueboys buried seven 3-pointers in the first 15 minutes of the half to help get within 53-54 with 5:02 left to play. Two free throws by Tucker cut the deficit to 63-56 with 4:27 left. Tom Katzfey connected on a layup with 4:19 left for a 65-56 lead. From there, neither team would score for nearly the next two minutes until Mitchell Neally hit a 3-pointer with 2:12 left, and Tucker had a steal and a dunk with 1:28 left to make it a 65-61 game.

Tucker hit a layup again to make it 65-63 with 43 seconds left, but St. Norbert would make 7 of 8 free throws in the final 41 seconds. Katzfey made two shots on a 1-and-1 with 41 seconds left. Rob Durrett made 1 of 2 with 29 seconds left for a 68-65 game. Illinois College's Joe Womble missed a layup with 11 seconds left, and Tony Jandron and Eric Bieniasz each made two free throws for St. Norbert's final points.

Illinois College's 49-point second half was paced by hitting 17 of 30 field goals, and the Blueboys had eight offensive rebounds off those 13 misses for 14 second-chance points.

Tucker led the Blueboys by coming off the bench for 19 points. Brad Johnson had 16 points and Mark Gillingham 10 for the Blueboys, which outrebounded St. Norbert 33-30.

Mike Dowden had 15 points to lead St. Norbert, with 12 coming in the first half. Bieniasz and Jandron each had 13 points and Katzfey 12. St. Norbert shot 44.2 percent from the floor for the game but was just 9 of 24 in the second half.