College basketball roundup: SNC beats Monmouth, UWO advances

For highlights of the St. Norbert vs. Monmouth MWC semifinal and the WIAC women's basketball semifinal between UWO vs. UW-Stout click on the video.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – Semifinal
UW-Oshkosh 61, UW-Stout 58

The UW-Oshkosh Titans women’s basketball team defeated UW-Stout for the third time this season 61-58 to advance to the WIAC Championship finals.

The Titans finished the final four minutes on a 10-0 run. UWO’s Melanie Schneider had 13 points and 4 rebounds while Isabella Samuels had 10 points and 4 rebounds

Titans advances to the league tournament title game for sixth straight year, where it will host defending champion UW-Whitewater (18-8) on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m.

Midwest Conference Tournament – Semifinal

Ripon College 44, St. Norbert College 40

Ripon, Wis. (St. Norbert Athletics) – St. Norbert College held a seven-point lead with just under five minutes remaining but couldn't hold on in a heartbreaking 44-40 loss to Ripon College in a Midwest Conference Tournament semifinal at Willmore Center.

It marked the final game in the 42-year career of coach Connie Tilley, who finished with a 693-312 career record.

St. Norbert nursed a 31-29 lead into the fourth quarter and after Ripon scored the first basket of the fourth quarter, went on a 9-2 run to take a 40-33 lead with 4:55 to go. Macie Zurfluh scored seven points and Sarah Ratajczyk added a basket, which was the final points of the game for the Green Knights.

Ripon would score on its next two possessions to get to within 40-37 with 3:52 left. The Red Hawks would get a free throw with 3:01 to go and Maggie Oimoen's basket with 2:34 to go tied the game at 40-40. Caitie Carpenter converted a layup with 2:04 to go, and St. Norbert would miss its last four field-goal attempts plus a pair of free throws the rest of the way.

The Red Hawks scored the first six points of the game but St. Norbert got to within 14-12 by the end of the first quarter. The Green Knights surged ahead to a 23-16 lead with 2:50 left in the second quarter on a Liz Edinger 3-pointer, but the Red Hawks would score the last six points of the half to trail 23-22 at the break.

St. Norbert shot 18-for-53 (34 percent) from the floor. Zurfluh was the only Green Knight to crack double figures with 14 points.

Ripon made 20-for-49 (40.8 percent) from the field and held a 46-19 rebounding advantage, but committed 27 turnovers. Oimoen led the Red Hawks with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
De Pere, Wis. (St. Norbert Athletics) - In a game featuring 23 lead changes and 12 ties, St. Norbert College made the last lead change hold up in a tense 73-72 win over Monmouth College in a Midwest Conference Tournament semifinal at Mulva Family Fitness & Sports Center.

The Green Knights (19-7) advance to the MWC Tournament Championship game against Lake Forest College, a 99-77 winner over Grinnell College in the other semifinal.

St. Norbert survived a nerve-wracking denouement after seeing a seven-point lead with 9 1/2 minutes left evaporate over the next five minutes. The Green Knights trailed 70-68 until Drew Yetka canned a 3-pointer from the left wing for a 71-70 lead with 1:51 to go. Monmouth's Will Carius scored on the next possession to give the Scots a 1-point lead. Each team recorded a stop until St. Norbert's Joe Lemon was fouled at the rim. Lemon converted both free throws with 14 seconds left for a 73-72 lead.

Carius was then fouled with about 8 seconds remaining, but the MWC Player of the Year missed two free throws. St. Norbert's Jared Murphy secured the rebound and was fouled, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Carius snatched the rebound, went the length of the floor and got to about within 8 feet of the rim, but a tough jumper just above the baseline was long off the rim as time expired.

Neither team led by more than four points in a first half that ended tied at 37-37. Monmouth drained a pair of 3-pointers to start the second half for a six-point lead, but after the game worked back to a 49-49 tie the Green Knights had the biggest run of the game at 8-0 for a 57-49 lead with 13:42 left. St. Norbert then missed its next six field-goal attempts as Monmouth got back into the game, finally retying the score at 64-64 with 4:47 left.

St. Norbert shot 48.2 percent (27-for-56) from the floor and had just seven turnovers. Yetka poured in a career-high 25 points, while Joe Ciriacks added 24 points.

Monmouth shot 53.6 percent (30-for-56) from the floor and held a 36-24 rebounding advantage. Carius had a game-high 29 points, while Justin Batterton added 16 points. D.J. Swift and Tyler Houston had 10 points apiece.