Ky. - In the first half, it was senior center Gavin Ludgood doing
the damage inside. And during the second half, it was freshman guard
David McFarland draining shots from all over the Regents Hall court.
By the time
Ludgood and McFarland were finished tormenting the Wisconsin-Parkside
defense Saturday afternoon, Northern Kentucky University owned a
71-66 victory over the Rangers. The Norse shot 59.1 percent from
the field in the second half and improved to 12-5 overall, 7-2 in
the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
6-foot-8 center, scored 10 of his team-leading 14 points in the
first half as NKU built a 36-28 advantage at the break. He also
added eight rebounds and four blocked shots - including two key
rejections in the final minute of play - for the Norse, who improved
to 11-0 all-time in Regents Hall against Wisconsin-Parkside.
a graduate of Boone County High School, added a career-high 13 points
- 10 in the second half - and five rebounds. McFarland also was
5-for-5 from the field, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range.
“It wasn’t just his 13 points. It was what he did defensively
that was so important,” NKU head coach Dave Bezold said of
McFarland. “(His offense) was icing on the cake, and without
those 13 points, we don’t win this game.”
NKU built a
50-35 lead in the second half on a basket by Travis Rasso and held
off a late Ranger (11-6, 4-5 GLVC) rally. Wisconsin-Parkside chipped
away at the NKU lead and eventually made it a one-possession game
at 69-66 on a basket by Tyrone Deacon with 14 seconds remaining.
however, iced the victory by sinking a pair of free throws with
13 seconds left to give NKU a 71-66 advantage. The Norse made just
57.7 percent of their free throws Saturday, including 7-for-15 in
the second half.
Morton hits a 3-pointer
ourselves a little bit of a cushion, and we didn’t finish
it the way we needed to,” Bezold said. “We had some
mistakes and didn’t make the free throws to keep that 10-point
again, we found a way to win, and that’s what we’re
supposed to do.”
and Harrison Morton each added nine points off the bench for NKU,
which outrebounded Wisconsin-Parkside by a 35-28 margin. Morton
scored seven points in the second half and finished 4-for-6 from
added five points and a team-leading six assists for the Norse,
and teammate Aaron Smith scored six points. The balanced NKU attack
featured nine players who scored points Saturday.
a game-high 21 points for Wisconsin-Parkside. The 6-foot-2 sophomore
guard was 6-for-13 from the field and added three steals while playing
all 40 minutes.
did a great job of guarding him, but he’s just a heck of a
player,” McFarland said of Deacon. “He made some tough
shots, and (Finnell) did a tremendous job of stopping him tonight
for the most part.”
scored 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting from the field for the Rangers.
Kyle Clark added 16 points, but only five players for Wisconsin-Parkside
were able to get into the scoring column the entire game.
NKU is ranked
fourth in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region poll, and Wisconsin-Parkside
is 10th. The winners of both the GLVC and Great Lakes Intercollegiate
Athletic Conference Tournaments will receive automatic berths to
the NCAA II Great Lakes Region Tournament in March. Six at-large
teams will also be selected to complete the Great Lakes Region field.
The Norse will
play host to Bellarmine at 7:45 p.m. next Saturday in the 2006 NKU
Homecoming in Regents Hall.