Junior guard Eric Porter scored a game-high 23 points to help lead the Lake Forest College men's basketball team to a 73-70 victory at St. Norbert College in Friday night's Midwest Conference Tournament semifinal.
Porter made six of the Foresters' season-high-tying 14 three-pointers. The visitors shot 11-for-13 from beyond the arc in the second half and 14-for-24 in the contest. Sophomore forward Danny Sotos was 4-for-8 from long range, finished with 12 points, and added a team-high four assists. Senior guards Mike Rueffer and Andrew Toth were each 2-for-3 on three-pointers and scored 10 points apiece. Senior forward Jim Schick added nine points and led all players in the contest with nine rebounds.
Lake Forest shot 52 percent from the floor while the Green Knights connected on 54.7 of their field goal attempts. The home team made just four of 16 shots from three-point range but out-rebounded the Foresters 29-21. The home team committed just eight turnovers while forcing a dozen St. Norbert miscues.
The Foresters led by as many as four points and St. Norbert by six in the first half. The Knights took a 29-26 advantage into the locker room at the break and extended the lead to seven early in the second half. Lake Forest scored the next 12 points on three-pointers by Toth, Sotos, Rueffer, and Porter and did not trail again. The Green Knights tied the score at 42 but Toth, Sotos, and Porter combined to make three-pointers on the visitors next five trips down the court to open up a 57-48 lead. St. Norbert chipped away at the deficit and eventually tied the game again at 66 with 3:1 5remaining. Rueffer connected on another three-pointer to regain the lead and, after a basket by the home team, Sotos knocked down his fourth three-pointer of the half to make the score 72-68 with 1:18 to play. The Green Knights cut the margin in half on a basket with 53 seconds left but did not score again. Schick made one of two foul shots with 8.5 seconds on the clock and a last-second three-pointer from St. Norbert was off target.
Lake Forest improved to 14-10 overall this season while St. Norbert fell to 19-5 and had their 50-game home winning streak against conference opponents come to an end.
The Foresters will take on Ripon College in Saturday afternoon's MWC Tournament final at 3:00. The Red Hawks edged out Cornell College 80-79 in Friday evening's other semifinal. The winner of Saturday's contest will earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.