Men down St. Norbert, remain in tie for fourth in MWC

Peter Griffith

Ryan Kroeger had a game-high 28 points and Andy Hurley put in 14 as the Lawrence University men’s basketball team picked up a win at St. Norbert in a crucial MWC matchup.
The win keeps the Vikings in contention for the fourth and final spot in the MWC tournament and eliminates St. Norbert.
The game began slowly with both teams playing solid defense. The Vikings had trouble finding Hurley and Matt Osland down low and much of LU’s scoring in the first half came from jumpers.
St. Norbert had a solid offensive game plan, using their superior size to set effective screens and move the basketball around the perimeter with relative ease.
Lawrence’s guards ended up chasing their man more times than not but efficient switching and good help defense kept LU hands in Green Knights’ faces and forced bad shots.
SNC picked up the tempo near the end of the half and finished strong with a layup at the buzzer to send St. Norbert into the locker room down two, 23-21.
St. Norbert would get the first bucket of the second half to tie the game at 23 but that’s as close as they’d get. Lawrence hit some crucial three-pointers including back-to-back treys from Ben Rosenblatt and never looked back.
St. Norbert, in need of a win to keep them alive in the conference, played tough defense down the stretch but solid free-throw shooting killed the Green Knights.
Kroeger was especially impressive from the charity stripe, hitting 13 of 14 including most of Lawrence’s free throws in the final minutes.
The win moves Lawrence to 9-6 in the conference, tied with Lake Forest for fourth place. LU split with LFC but since Lake Forest split with league-leading Grinnell and the Pioneers swept Lawrence, LFC holds the tiebreaker.
Lawrence needs a win in their final game against Carroll this weekend and a Lake Forest loss – at home vs. Knox – to qualify for the four-team tournament. Tip-off Saturday is 4 p.m. at Alexander.