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Lake Forest snaps St. Norbert’s historic streak

The St. Norbert College (De Pere, Wis.) men’s basketball team saw its 50-game home winning streak against Midwest Conference opponents snapped on Friday, Feb. 24. The Green Knights (19-5) were stunned 73-70 after Lake Forest College’s sterling performance in the second half of the MWC tournament.

The Green Knights held a 29-26 lead at halftime, but Lake Forest (14-10) locked in from behind the arc in the second half, shooting an amazing 11-for-13 (85%) from the three-point line.

Five players recorded double-digit scoring for St. Norbert. Terrance Garner led the way with 15 points while Mitchell Reinthaler added 12. Ben Bobinski and D.J. Devalk scored 11 each while Taylor Penn had 10.

Eric Porter tallied a game-high 23 points for the Foresters. Danny Sotos scored 12 while Andrew Toth and Mike Rueffer contributed 10 apiece.

For the game, Lake Forest hit 14 three-pointers out of 24 attempts (58%). Porter was responsible for six of those threes; Sotos had four while Rueffer and Toth hit two each. St. Norbert went just 4-for-16 (25%) from beyond the arc: Penn scored two, and Bobinski and DeValk each had one.

With the loss, the Green Knights, who are ranked No. 13 in the nation, must hope for an at-large bid into the NCAA Division III National Tournament in order to continue their season. Meanwhile, Lake Forest will move on to play Ripon College in the MWC championship game. Ripon defeated Cornell College (Mount Vernon, Iowa), 80-79, on a game winning three-pointer from Ty Sabin — who had a 50-point game — to advance to the championship.

St. Norbert’s 50-game home winning streak against MWC opponents dated back to the 2012-2013 season; the last time the Green Knights lost to a MWC opponent at home was against Grinnell College on Dec. 8, 2012.

Earlier this season, the Green Knights also saw their 72-game winning streak against MWC opponents– regardless of home or away– snapped. Ripon defeated the Green Knights 81-55 on Jan. 18, handing them their first conference loss since Feb. 9, 2013. St. Norbert fell to Grinnell in that game as well.

St. Norbert’s loss to Lake Forest certainly came as a surprise. On Feb. 20, the Green Knights clinched their fifth consecutive outright MWC title with a 73-62 win over Beloit College. The Green Knights became the first MWC team to win five consecutive outright men’s basketball championships since Carleton College (Northfield, Minn.) won six straight titles from the 1927-1928 to 1932-1933 seasons.

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