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Green Knights Close Out Cornell

From Asst. AD/Athletics Communications, January 26, 2019 | Women's Basketball
by Dan Lukes,, (920) 403-4077

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa - St. Norbert College won for the fifth time in its last six games as the Green Knights finished off Cornell College 67-63 in a Midwest Conference game at Small Multi-Sport Center.

The Green Knights (7-12, 6-6 MWC) continued their last-ditch push at a MWC Tournament berth, two games out of fourth place with six games remaining. Cornell dropped even in the loss column with St. Norbert and is now a half-game behind the Green Knights at 5-11, 5-6.

St. Norbert held a 44-43 lead after three quarters and held off every Cornell push in the final 10 minutes. Sarah Ratajczyk's layup with 8:59 left put the Green Knights ahead 46-45, a lead they would never relinquish. A pair of Olivia DeCleene free throws and a Macie Zurfluh 3-pointer put the Green Knights up 51-45 with 7:56 to play.

Cornell would cut its deficit to one point on two occasions and would trail 57-55 with 5 minutes left, but hoops by Ratajczyk and Jessica Boerner put St. Norbert ahead 61-55 with 3:44 left. Boerner's basket would be the Green Knights' last field goal of the game, but St. Norbert would connect on 6 of 8 free-throw attempts in the final 1:05 to seal the win.

The first quarter featured five ties, with the period ending knotted at 16-16. A 6-0 run early in the second quarter would erase a three-point deficit for St. Norbert, with Olivia DeCleene, Zurfluh and Hannah Ciesielczyk getting baskets. St. Norbert would eventually take a six-point lead at 31-25 on a Zurfluh 3-pointer with left before settling on a 31-27 halftime lead.

St. Norbert shot 47.2 percent (25-for-53) from the floor. Zurfluh again toyed with a triple double, finishing with 19 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in 33 minutes, finishing with 21 assists in two games in two days. DeCleene added 14 points, four assists and four rebounds and played just under the full 40 minutes. Ratajczyk added 12 points.

Cornell shot 46.2 percent (24-for-52) from the floor. Mo Kempiak led the Rams with 21 points, while Kandis O'Donnell added 10 points.

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