Sunday, December 9, 2012

Taylor pours in 36 as Grinnell gets big victory at St. Norbert

The rivalry between the NCAA Division III men's team at Grinnell and fellow Midwest Conference member St. Norbert always has been a good one. It was no different Saturday.

Jack Taylor went off for 36 points, including six 3-pointers, and the Pioneers thrived in a game a bit slower than their normal pace to beat the Green Knights 105-94 on the road. Patrick Maher added 16 points and five assists, and Griffin Lentsch finished with an efficient 15 points for Grinnell (7-1, 4-0 MWC), which won at St. Norbert for the first time since 2006.

St. Norbert (3-3, 2-2) employed a hybrid defense, with three players mostly playing zone and two going man to chase the shooters. It was effective early, help the Green Knights take an eight-point lead midway through the first half.

The Pioneers battled back and eventually pulled ahead, and when Taylor made a 3 just before the buzzer to end the opening 20 minutes, they led 47-40. St. Norbert tied it at 62 with 12:24 remaining in the game, but Lentsch responded with a pair of free throws to give Grinnell the lead for good. The Green Knights couldn't recover.

You can see by the Pioneers' Formula stats how slowly this game was played:

- Attempted 62 shots
- Attempted 33 3-pointers
- Rebounded 17 percent of their own misses
- Forced 22 turnovers
- Attempted three fewer shots than St. Norbert

Not a super enjoyable game to watch, if you're a fan of The System, such as me, but it always is good to see a victory for one of my favorite teams.

Grinnell has one game left before Christmas break, hosting Illinois College (3-4, 2-2) on Tuesday, with the tip scheduled for 8 p.m. EST.

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