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Green Knights torch nets in victory

By Murray Gleffe

DE PERE — The St. Norbert College men’s basketball team recorded a 90-79 Midwest Conference victory over Lawrence University Feb. 5 at the Mulva Fitness and Sports Center.

Joe Ciriacks led five Green Knights in double figures with 22 points.

Jacob Bolwerk added 20 points.

“Offensively, Jacob had been struggling with his shot, but he got in rhythm tonight,” said St. Norbert head coach Gary Grzesk. “In the second half, we did a great job screening for Joey. Lawrence doubled down in the post, and it led our outside shooters to have cleaner looks.”

Brad Sendell finished with a game-high 29 points for the Vikings.

St. Norbert (17-3 overall, 12-1 MWC) held a 38-25 rebounding edge and shot 57 percent overall from the floor.

Lawrence (9-11, 5-8) took an early 16-13 lead behind three early triples, but the Green Knights countered with a long-range bomb by Bolwerk to retake the lead, 18-16.

A bit later, the Vikings regained the lead, 25-22, after Sendell connected on a step-back, 26-footer from the left wing.

“Lawrence does a great job spreading the floor, and they usually have four or five shooters out there,” said Grzesk. “It presented us with lots of problems. We were a step slow getting out on shooters, and I wasn’t happy with the amount of points we gave up defensively.”

The Vikings were then called for two flops on the defensive end – the second one resulting in a technical foul.

The technical seemed to rattle Lawrence for the next four minutes, as St. Norbert went on a 14-0 run behind scoring from five different players.

The Green Knights led 34-25 with 8:20 remaining until intermission.

Lawrence closed the half on a flurry with the inside-out game of Bryce Denham and Julian DeGuzman, as St. Norbert took a 42-39 cushion into halftime.

The Vikings hit 8-of-16 three-point shots in the first 20 minutes, while the Green Knights were only 4-of-11 (36 percent).

Ciriacks hit a short jumper off the glass to build St. Norbert’s lead to 61-52 in the second half, but Lawrence wouldn’t go away.

With 8:04 remaining, Brandon Danowski hit a 10-footer to cut the home team’s lead to 73-66.

Lawrence cut the margin to seven points four more times in the contest, but it was St. Norbert, which made 10-of-12 free throws in the final three minutes, to pull away with the win.

“We are not taking anything for granted down the stretch,” added Grzesk. “We need to get better in practice. The games have been spaced out other than the doubleheader with Grinnell and Cornell. It’s one possession, one half and one game at a time.”

Box score

Lawrence: 39, 40—79

St. Norbert: 42, 48—90

Vikings: Sendell 29, Denham 17, Materna 9, DeGuzman 9, Danowski 9, Fisher 4 Brend 2

Green Knights: Ciriacks 22, Bolwerk 20, Geenen 14, Beirne 10, Curtis 10, Murphy 7, Payant 5, Pettit 2

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