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.