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Green Knights Can't Hold Lead at Illinois College

From Asst. AD/Athletics Communications, February 8, 2020 | Women's Basketball
by Dan Lukes,, (920) 403-4077

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. - St. Norbert College had a seven-point lead with under four minutes to play but couldn't hold on in a tough 57-53 loss to Illinois College in a Midwest Conference game at Sherman Gym.

After battling back to tie the game at 44-44 after three quarters, the Green Knights opened the final period on an 8-1 run to take a 52-45 lead. Kaycee Gierczak had a conventional three-point play, and Olivia DeCleene followed with a 3-pointer for a 50-44 lead with 8:33 left. Neither team would score again until Illinois College's Lilly Pepper split a pair of free throws at the 4:34 mark. Gierczak then canned a jumper with 3:41 to go for a 52-45 advantage.

Illinois College would score the next five points until Macie Zurfluh split a pair of free throws with 2:13 left. Carly Cameron scored for Illinois College with 2:01 left to cut the Lady Blues' deficit to 53-52. St. Norbert then had three empty possessions and Illinois College took the lead for good on a Megan Price basket with 1:04 left. The Green Knights trailed 56-53 inside 20 seconds but a potential game-tying 3-pointer was offline.

The Lady Blues led 16-10 after the first quarter and increased their lead to 32-22 at halftime. The Green Knights trailed 36-28 with 6:58 left in the third quarter until going on a 13-0 run. A Zurfluh 3-pointer brought St. Norbert to within 36-34, and after an Illinois College basket Jessica Boerner scored on consecutive possessions to tie the game at 38-38 with 3:04 left in the period. Sarah Chouinard then canned a 3-pointer to give St. Norbert a brief 41-38 lead. Chouinard then drained another triple late in the quarter to tie the game 44-44.

St. Norbert shot 35 percent (21-for-60) from the floor, including 3-for-14 (21.4 percent) in the fourth quarter. Zurfluh finished with 12 points for the Green Knights, while Boerner added 11 points.

Illinois College shot 39.1 percent (18-for-46) from the floor. Pepper finished with 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Lady Blues, while Grace Yaunches added 10 points.

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