Giving Banner
  cta: "#show-navobile",
  changeDOM: true

Furious Rally Not Enough For Green Knights In NCAA Tournament

From Asst. AD/Athletics Communications, March 6, 2020 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes,, (920) 403-4077

PLATTEVILLE - St. Norbert College came all the way back from a 20-point deficit late in the first half to take a late lead but eventually dropped a 67-60 decision to the University of St. Thomas in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament at UW-Platteville's Williams Fieldhouse.

The Green Knights (23-5), ranked No. 22 in the Top 25, saw a memorable season come to a close despite nearly pulling off one of the biggest comebacks in program history. St. Thomas (25-3), ranked No. 4 in the Top 25, will face No. 8 Platteville in a second-round game on Saturday night.

St. Norbert trailed 43-23 late in the first half before Jared Murphy's putback just before the buzzer brought the Green Knights to within 43-25 at halftime. The Tommies scored on the opening possession of the second half to retake a 20-point lead, but the Green Knights held the Tommies without a field goal for the next 8 minutes 22 seconds to climb back into the game. The Green Knights got a 3-pointer from Wade Geenen to get within 45-31 with 18:05 left, but neither team would score again until Geenen scored another triple with 14:06 to go. A Geenen jumper in the paint got St. Norbert to within single digits at 45-36 with 13:33 left.

The Tommies would extend its lead back to 12 at 51-39 with 10:25 on an Anders Nelson hoop, but Josh Nicklaus' 3-pointer ignited a 10-0 St. Norbert run. Joe Ciriacks had a pair of free throws with 9:41 to go, while Nolan Beirne scored off an offensive rebound with 8:05 left to cut it to 8:05. Ciriacks then trained a 3-pointer to make it 51-49 with 7:31 left. St. Thomas would get a pair of Nelson baskets to take a 55-49 lead, but a Beirne layup and 3-pointer got St. Norbert to within 55-54 with 4:37 left. St. Thomas' Burt Hedstrom hit a basket, but Geenen scored at the 3:58 mark and Murphy had a layup to give St. Norbert a 58-57 lead with 3:27 left. But Hedstrom countered with a long 3-pointer with 3:10 left to put the Tommies back up by two, and the Green Knights could never swing momentum back their way after that.

St. Norbert had a cold start, while St. Thomas was red hot out of the gate in building a 17-4 lead. The Tommies made nine of their first 11 three-point field-goal attempts, while the Green Knights were 1-for-12 from beyond the arc in the first half.

The Green Knights shot 40.7 percent (24-for-59) from the floor for the game, and were 6-for-28 (21.4 percent) from distance and just 6 of 12 (50 percent) at the free-throw line. St. Norbert held a 33-25 rebounding advantage. Murphy led St. Norbert with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Beirne added 13 points and nine rebounds, while Geenen had 12 points.

St. Thomas shot 47.8 percent (22-for-46) from the floor and was 11-for-26 (42.3 percent) from beyond the arc, but just 1-for-9 in the second half - with Hedstrom's key triple the decisive blow. Nelson finished with a game-high 27 points, while Hedstrom added 14 points and Ryan Lindberg 10 points.

Back To Top