BELOIT - While Kelly Loudon is making up for lost time, Shelby Kline and Candace Cunningham are making the most of what they have left.
Loudon, a 5-foot-9 sophomore from Clinton, followed a career-best 27-point effort over the weekend by scoring 16 Tuesday night and seniors Kline (25 points) and Cunningham (19 points, 12 rebounds) had their typically strong efforts as Beloit College beat St. Norbert for the first time in 20 tries, 85-76, at Flood Arena.
"I hadn't beaten St. Norbert in my entire career or even come very close," said a grinning Kline, who tallied 19 first-half points as Beloit took a 47-37 lead. "It was a really nice win."
The Bucs had a fourth player tally in double figures as Danielle Strejc added 11 points off the bench.
The statistic Beloit head coach Gloria Bradley pointed to was the assist-to-turnover ratio. The Bucs had 18 assists compared to nine turnovers.
"That just shows we're a team that's willing to share the basketball," Kline said.
They also shot 48.3 percent from the field, including 41.7 (10-of-24) on 3-pointers.
"They played like they wanted it more tonight," Bradley said. "I told them they'd been checking out a little bit lately late in games. Our signature earlier in the year was playing hard for four quarters. It was nice to see them getting back to that. They stepped up to the challenge and I'm proud of them."
The Bucs were 17-of-23 from the free-throw line and were 10-for-12 in the final 54 seconds.
"We tried to make sure we had the right people with the ball when (SNC) had to foul," Bradley said. "At one point Shelby passed it away and I had a little talk with her about hanging onto it and drawing the foul. We need her on the line."
The Bucs led wire-to-wire. Down the stretch, they got a pair of layups and two free throws from Loudon to go up 77-70 with 54 seconds left.
"Kelly is really coming up clutch lately," Kline said. "I think she is figuring out her role on the team and it's as a scorer."
The Green Knights cut it to 77-73 with a trey with :42 on the clock, but Kline hit four free throws while SNC could manage only one basket. Cunningham came up with a steal and drew a foul, converting two free throws that pretty much sealed it at 83-75 with :23 left.
"We really were really clicking this game, playing unselfish and well as a team," Loudon said.
The ex-Cougar underwent hip surgery her freshman season and is finally back to 100 percent.
"I missed all of last season with a pretty serious injury," she said. "I'm finally getting back into the swing of things. I really hadn't felt like my old self until recently. I had my surgery about a year ago."
Bradley is glad to have her in the Bucs' current and future plans.
"Kelly came back from the injury and was an energizer for us early in the season," the coac said. "Then she fell into a shooting funk for awhile, but she has come out of it and found her stroke. She can be a triple threat kind of player."
The Bucs (5-17, 4-11 MWC) still have three games on the schedule, including a matchup with Knox at 1 p.m. Saturday at home.
"I'm hoping we can come out and finish off the season with some big wins," Kline said. "I wish we had started it like that, but we lost some winnable games."
• TILLEY RETIRING: Beloiter Connie Tilley is finishing her 42nd season as head coach of the Green Knights. They are 8-7 in the MWC and 9-13 overall.
Tilley's 691 wins are sixth all-time for most triumphs in NCAA Division III history. She has 60 wins alone against the Bucs.
SNC was led by Sarah Ratajczyk, who was 8-for-8 from the field on her way to 21 points.
• BOXSCORE: Beloit College 85, St. Norbert 76
ST. NORBERT (fg-fga ft-fta pts) - Ratajczyk 8-8 5-6 21, Olijnyk 4-9 3-4 15, DeCleene 5-11 3-4 14, Zurfluh 5-14 0-0 11, Hoeft 1-4 0-0 2, Neumann 3-6 0-0 6, Cravillion 1-5 0-0 3, Gibbons 1-20-0 3, Boerner 0-0 1-2 1, Ciesielczyk 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 28-60 12-16 76.
BELOIT COLLEGE (fg-fga ft-fta pts) - Kline 7-15 6-6 25, Cunningham 7-11 5-6 19, Loudon 5-13 3-4 16, McLean 3-4 1-1 7, Glaser 1-3 1-4 3, Strejc 4-8 1-2 11, Melton 2-6 0-0 4. Totals: 29-60 17-23 85.
St. Norbert...14 23 12 27 - 76
Beloit College..29 18 12 26 - 85
3-pt. Goals - SNC 8-21 (Olijnyk 4-8 DeCleene 1-5, Zurfluh 1-3, Cravillion 1-4, Gibbons 1-1), BC 10-24 (Kline 5-10, Loudon 3-8, McLean 0-1, Strejc 2-5). Rebounds - SNC 36 (Ratajczyk 10), BC 32 (Cunningham 12).