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St. Norbert Outlasts Illinois College

From Asst. AD/Athletics Communications, February 2, 2019 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College faced a stiff challenge from a game Illinois College team but held on to finish off a 104-94 Midwest Conference win at Mulva Family Fitness & Sports Center.

St. Norbert shot 55.7 percent from the floor and had just five turnovers, which was enough to overcome Illinois College's 63.6 percent marksmanship from the floor.

The Green Knights (15-6, 13-1 MWC) found themselves staring at an 11-point deficit just 5 1/2 minutes into the game, with the Blueboys surging out to a 15-4 lead. St. Norbert was able to mount a response, going on a 12-2 run over the next 2:42. Drew Yetka go things started with a driving layup, followed by a conventional three-point play from Jared Murphy. Illinois College's got a basket to go up eight, but Yetka canned a 3-pointer on the next possession. Yetka scored again moments later, converting a four-point play to get to within 17-16 at the 11:51 mark.

St. Norbert was able to forge the game's first tie at 24-24 when Joe Lemon splashed a 3-pointer with 9:47 left. Neither team then led by more than four points the rest of the half, which included seven ties in that stretch. Illinois College's Mason Speer hit a basket for a 49-47 lead with 1:09 left in the half, but Joe Ciriacks drained a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left for a 50-49 lead. Following a Blueboys' turnover, Ciriacks got a long rebound on a missed three-point attempt and got a shot off just before the buzzer for another triple and a 53-49 halftime edge.

The Blueboys wouldn't go away, however, taking three one-point leads in the second half. Tim Parks' hoop with 12:58 to go gave Illinois College its last lead at 67-66. Nolan Beirne's offensive rebounds and putback led to a three-point play, while Murphy and Beirne followed with hoops for a 73-67 edge at the 11:34 mark. Speer made a pair of free throws, but Beirne converted another shot and Matt Lynch's steal led to a fastbreak Ciriacks layup for a 77-69 edge with 9:59 left. Murphy's 3-pointer would give St. Norbert an 87-74 lead with 6:46 to go, and the Blueboys would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way.

St. Norbert finished 39-for-70 from the floor and was 11-for-26 from beyond the three-point arc, and also finished with 17 seconds-chance points. Beirne totaled career highs with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Ciriacks and Murphy had 19 points apiece, while Yetka added 16 points, six assists and five rebounds. Wade Geenen added 16 points and Lemon 11 points.

Illinois College converted on 35 of its 55 field-goal attempts. Kane Wildermuth had 17 points to lead the Blueboys, while Speer finished with 15 points and Trae Robinson 14 points.

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