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St. Norbert Survives and Advances in MWC Tournament

From Asst. AD/Athletics Communications, February 22, 2019 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes,, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - In a game featuring 23 lead changes and 12 ties, St. Norbert College made the last lead change hold up in a tense 73-72 win over Monmouth College in a Midwest Conference Tournament semifinal at Mulva Family Fitness & Sports Center.

The Green Knights (19-7) advance to the MWC Tournament Championship game against Lake Forest College, a 99-77 winner over Grinnell College in the other semifinal.

St. Norbert survived a nerve-wracking denouement after seeing a seven-point lead with 9 1/2 minutes left evaporate over the next five minutes. The Green Knights trailed 70-68 until Drew Yetka canned a 3-pointer from the left wing for a 71-70 lead with 1:51 to go. Monmouth's Will Carius scored on the next possession to give the Scots a 1-point lead. Each team recorded a stop until St. Norbert's Joe Lemon was fouled at the rim. Lemon converted both free throws with 14 seconds left for a 73-72 lead.

Carius was then fouled with about 8 seconds remaining, but the MWC Player of the Year missed two free throws. St. Norbert's Jared Murphy secured the rebound and was fouled, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Carius snatched the rebound, went the length of the floor and got to about within 8 feet of the rim, but a tough jumper just above the baseline was long off the rim as time expired.

Neither team led by more than four points in a first half that ended tied at 37-37. Monmouth drained a pair of 3-pointers to start the second half for a six-point lead, but after the game worked back to a 49-49 tie the Green Knights had the biggest run of the game at 8-0 for a 57-49 lead with 13:42 left. St. Norbert then missed its next six field-goal attempts as Monmouth got back into the game, finally retying the score at 64-64 with 4:47 left.

St. Norbert shot 48.2 percent (27-for-56) from the floor and had just seven turnovers. Yetka poured in a career-high 25 points, while Joe Ciriacks added 24 points.

Monmouth shot 53.6 percent (30-for-56) from the floor and held a 36-24 rebounding advantage. Carius had a game-high 29 points, while Justin Batterton added 16 points. D.J. Swift and Tyler Houston had 10 points apiece.

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