led NKU with 25 points
Ky. - At one time, the basketball series between Northern Kentucky
University and Thomas More College produced an intense rivalry.
There were last-second heroics, overtime games and several huge
upsets in the annual battle for The Kentucky Post Long Rifle (the
one-time trophy given to the NKU/Thomas More winner).
however, are long gone.
episode in the NKU/Thomas More series ended in an 85-39 Norse victory
Friday night in Regents Hall. NKU (7-2) shot 55.9 percent from the
field and sent the Division III Saints (0-10) to their 10th straight
NKU has now
beaten Thomas More 20 consecutive times and holds a 29-5 lead in
the all-time series with the Saints. NKU has not lost to Thomas
More since the 1980-81 season, when the Saints defeated the Norse
by a 61-52 score in Regents Hall.
“The one thing
we wanted to see was good basketball played and not a lot of sloppiness
and carelessness, and we did that,” NKU head coach Dave Bezold
said. “It doesn’t matter who you are playing against,
whether they are pressing you or what level they are at, you still
have to take care of the basketball and run good offense.
“We did that,
and we made open shots tonight which we needed to do for everyone’s
confidence involved out on that floor.”
scored 20 of his game-high 25 points in the first half to lead NKU.
Schappell, a graduate of Loveland High School, made six 3-point
field goals and was 9-for-15 from the field. He also added three
rebounds and an assist.
“I thought we
came out and shot the ball well. It just helped our confidence,”
said Schappell, who drained five 3-pointers in the first half. “Coming
into the game, a lot of our guards didn’t have a lot of confidence,
and we didn’t hit a lot of shots the last couple of games.”
drives to the basket
and Mark Hawkins each added 13 points for the Norse, who shot 55.9
percent from the field and were 12-for-21 in 3-point attempts. Hawkins
hit a trio of 3-point shots in the first half as NKU built a 45-24
the second half with a 23-2 run to build 68-26 lead. The Norse eventually
extended the advantage to 50 points (81-31) and coasted to the victory.
Gavin Ludgood scored
nine points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked two shots for NKU,
while David McFarland added eight rebounds and six
assists. Travis Rasso finished with nine points on 4-for-5 shooting
from the field.
As a team,
NKU finished with 23 assists. The passing resulted in numerous good
“It just shows
everybody’s unselfish on our team,” Schappell said of
the 23 assists. “We made the extra pass a lot to break the
zone down to get open threes, and that is why we shot so well because
we made that extra pass.”
Billy Finnell dished
out five assists and had three steals. Harrison Morton added four
assists and five points.
“That just showed
that even though we had a lead - a large lead - that the guys were
still playing good, solid basketball and weren’t getting selfish,”
Bezold said. “They
understand that there is a certain way we have to play and regardless
of the score, you still stay within those confines.”
After the Christmas
break, NKU will travel to Florida for games against Nova Southeastern
(Dec. 29) and NCAA Division II powerhouse Lynn (Dec. 30).