Green Knights Battle, Fall to Alma in Sweet 16


After a close win against Carroll University 71-69 to clinch the MWC Tournament Championship, the Green Knights were riding high heading into the NCAA Tournament, enjoying a 16-game win streak that began on Jan. 6.

In the NCAA Division III Central Regional Tournament at St. Norbert College, the Green Knights beat the University of Northwestern-St. Paul easily 77-58 on Friday, March 4. The next day, the Green Knights squeaked by  St. Olaf College 63-61  in large part,D.J. Dakota scoreWith the victory, the Green Knights moved on to the Sectional Tournament to play Alma College on March 11, marking their first Sweet 16 appearance in 32 years.

Unfortunately for the Knights, the momentum of such a long winning streak could not be sustained against Alma College.

The Sweet 16 matchup was an epic one. The Green Knights scored first, thanks to a DeValk layup, but soon after, Alma went on a 16-4 run to bust the game wide open. Although the Knights were able to battle back and keep the game close, they did not retake the lead again until 3:02 left in the second half, when Mitch Winter ’18 nailed a three-pointer to pull ahead, 62-61.

They did not hold that lead for long, though, as Alma came roaring back with a midrange jumper of their own. From there on, Alma never looked back, icing the victory in the final seconds and winning, 70-64.

The loss marks the end of a long, successful road for the Green Knights. DeValk (First-Team), Terrence Garner ’17 (Second-Team), and coach Gary Grzesk (Coach of the Year) all earned All-MWC honors, and the team will presumably come back unchanged next season, as it will see no graduating seniors depart the squad.


D.J. DeValk drives by a defender in the First-Round victory over UN-SP | Evan Siegle/USA Today Network-Wisconsin


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