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Ciriacks' Big Day Powers Green Knights Past Cornell

From Asst. AD/Athletics Communications, January 26, 2019 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa - St. Norbert College junior Joe Ciriacks posted a career-high 32 points as the Green Knights bounced back from their first Midwest Conference loss of the season with a solid 87-75 win over Cornell College at Small Multi-Sport Center.

Ciriacks canned 7 of 13 three-point field goal attempts and was 11-for-19 from the floor overall to pace the Green Knights, who lost 102-96 Friday at Grinnell College. St. Norbert (13-6, 11-1 MWC) leads the Pioneers by one game in the loss column with six games remaining.

St. Norbert led from start to finish, jumping out to a 10-3 lead. Ciriacks canned a 3-pointer just 11 seconds into the game, followed by a basket from Connor Curtis. Cornell's Jordan Magnani hit a triple, but Curtis scored again and Jared Murphy banged home a 3-pointer of his own to cap the run.

The Rams would climb to within 22-20 with 9:24 left in the half, but a quick 6-0 spurt gave the Green Knights some breathing room. Ciriacks converted a conventional three-point play, while Drew Yetka drained a 3-pointer for a 28-20 edge with 8:17 left in the half. St. Norbert would lead 39-29 late in the half before settling on a 39-31 halftime lead.

Cornell got to within 42-37 with 18:57 left on another 3-pointer from Magnani, but the Green Knights would go an 8-0 run on a basket from Curtis and two treys from Ciriacks. The Rams got to within six points twice, the last time at 69-63 with 6:13 to go. St. Norbert went on another 8-0 run on a basket and 3-pointer from Curtis and a triple from Yetka for a 77-63 lead with 5:04 left.

St. Norbert shot 50 percent (33-for-66) from the floor. In addition to Ciriacks' outing, Curtis finished with 21 points and seven rebounds. Yetka added 16 points.

Cornell shot 48.2 percent (27-for-56) from the field. Cooper Kabela had 18 points to top the Rams, while Michael Drew added 14 points.

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