Ill. - After watching his team drop a 68-59 decision at Southern
Illinois at Edwardsville on Thursday night, Northern Kentucky University
head coach Dave Bezold had quite a compliment for the lightning-quick
are the quickest team we have faced this year, and it caused us
a lot of problems in the first half. It took us a whole 20 minutes
to get used to that quickness,” Bezold said. “We did
a better job in the second half and actually outscored them, but
it wasn’t enough to overcome the first half.”
No. 18 nationally in the NCAA Division II poll, allowed NKU to shoot
just 36.8 percent from the field in the first half. The Cougars
used a 10-2 run in the final six minutes of the first half to build
a 30-18 lead at the break.
sparked the run by hitting two free throws and later draining a
3-pointer to give SIUE a 27-18 advantage. Nick Arth capped the run
with a basket while being fouled with 55 seconds left, and he converted
the free throw to make it 30-18 at halftime.
scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half to rally NKU. The
Norse pulled within 38-35 on a jumper by Kevin Reinhardt with 14:33
remaining, but SIUE responded with two straight baskets to push
its lead to 42-35.
A jumper by
Gavin Ludgood and a 3-pointer by Reinhardt cut the SIUE advantage
to 45-40 with 10:32 left, but the Cougars scored the next nine points
to build a 54-40 lead.
the SIUE spurt with a 3-pointer, and Ryan Belcher added two baskets
to key the run.
some guys who had good nights on offense, but we did not get enough
on the defensive end,” Bezold said. “Whenever we did
get close in the second half, it seemed like (SIUE) would hit a
3-pointer because we went the wrong way on a screen. You can’t
beat a ranked team on the road doing that.”
J.B. Jones and Mike Hardiek each scored 11 points to lead the Cougars,
who improved to 16-3 overall, 10-2 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
Arth and Belcher each added 10 points for the balanced SIUE attack.
SIUE shot 50
percent from the field and extended its winning streak to 12 games.
The Cougars are ranked No. 2 in the latest NCAA Division II Great
Lakes Region poll.
with 12 points for NKU, which shot 44.4 percent from the field.
The Norse won the rebounding battle by a 29-24 margin.
scored 11 points and dished out a game-high six assists for NKU.
Humphrey made a trio of 3-point shots, while Ludgood grabbed eight
rebounds to lead the Norse.
NKU is 13-6
overall, 8-3 in the GLVC. As a result of the loss, the Norse fell
into second place behind Saint Joseph’s - a 107-85 winner
over Missouri-St. Louis on Thursday night - in the GLVC East standings.
NKU will conclude
the two-game road trip at 4:15 p.m. Saturday at Quincy. The Norse
are ranked No. 4 in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region poll.