Gavin Ludgood against Xavier
Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University men’s basketball team
will begin the regular season Friday at 7:45 p.m. against Findlay
in the John L. Griffin/Lions Club Classic in Regents Hall.
record last season) is ranked sixth nationally in the Division II
Bulletin preseason poll, and the Oilers advanced to the NCAA Division
II Elite Eight last March.
NKU will also
meet Saginaw Valley State at 7:45 p.m. Saturday in the final game
of the John L. Griffin/Lions Club Classic. Both NKU games will be
broadcast live on WIOK (107.5 FM) and can also be heard on the Internet
the fourth team in the event, will meet Saginaw Valley State at
5:30 p.m. on Nov. 18 and Findlay at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 19.
PRESEASON: NKU tuned up for the season with two exhibition
games against local Division I opponents Xavier and Cincinnati.
On Nov. 5, Xavier posted a 78-44 win over NKU at the Cintas Center.
On Nov. 12, the Norse dropped a 96-60 decision at Cincinnati.
SHOOTING: Last Saturday night, Cincinnati shot 66.7 percent
from the field - including 76 percent in the second half - and cruised
to its win over NKU. The Bearcats also used 10-for-20 shooting from
3-point range and a 33-26 rebounding advantage to knock off NKU
for the fifth consecutive year in their annual exhibition contest
in front of a crowd of 6,937 at the Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker
led Cincinnati with 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
Hicks, a 6-foot-6 senior post player, netted 13 points in the second
In the first
exhibition game on Nov. 5, Brian Thornton scored 22 points on 9-for-10
shooting from the field as Xavier defeated NKU. Stanley Burrell
added 13 points and six assists for Xavier, which shot 57.1 percent
from the field. The taller Musketeers won the rebounding battle
by a 43-30 margin and held NKU to 26.3 percent shooting from the
Vincent Humphrey (5)
REAL GOOD: Senior center Gavin Ludgood scored 14 points
to lead NKU against Cincinnati. Ludgood, a 6-8, 235-pound transfer
from Division I Florida Atlantic and former prep standout in Arkansas,
scored nine points in the first half against the Bearcats.
SHINES: Junior forward Kevin Reinhardt added 13 points
and eight rebounds against Cincinnati. Reinhardt averaged 13 points
and 8.5 rebounds per contest in the two exhibition games.
FINDLAY: The Oilers, who won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate
Athletic Conference championship last season en route to the NCAA
Division II Elite Eight, play Shawnee State on Tuesday night. Findlay
dropped exhibition games against Ohio State and Dayton in the preseason.
just one starter from that team in senior guard Dustin Pfeifer,
who averaged 12.8 ppg and dished out 171 assists. The Oilers also
welcome back junior forward Frank Phillips, who missed last season
due to a knee injury.
LAST TIME AGAINST FINDLAY: On March 14, 2003, NKU and Findlay
met in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region
Tournament at Houghton, Mich., and the sixth-seeded Oilers pulled
off an 80-76 upset over the third-seeded Norse. Charles Warren scored
25 points to lead Findlay, which avenged a season-opening 70-62
loss to NKU.
The Norse -
ranked No. 4 nationally - shot 53.6 percent from the field, but
NKU committed 24 turnovers and allowed Findlay to connect on 56.9
percent of its shots from the field.
The Norse led
by as many as 10 points in the first half as Quentin Smith scored
16 of his 18 points, but Findlay used a 15-2 run to start the second
half to take a 50-42 lead. The Oilers eventually built a 10-point
cushion (61-51), but NKU fought back with a late rally.
basket with less than a minute left cut Findlay’s lead to
77-76, but Dustin Pfeifer made a pair of free throws with 16 seconds
remaining to extend the Oilers’ advantage to 79-76. NKU’s
Mike Kelsey attempted a 3-point shot in the closing seconds, but
the ball rimmed out and Pfeifer added a free throw for the final
YEAR’S CLASSIC: NKU opened the John L. Griffin/Lions
Club Classic last season with a 55-53 upset over No. 6 Michigan
Tech. Harrison Morton scored the final five points of the game as
NKU rallied for the win. Morton finished with a team-leading 12
points, including a driving, off-balance scoop shot with 1.5 seconds
remaining to give NKU a 55-53 lead.
One night later,
Pat Cary scored 17 points and did not miss a shot as NKU eased past
Northern Michigan, 73-62. Cary made all six of his attempts from
the field and was 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. He also added
four blocked shots and was named the Norse’s most outstanding
player of the two-day event in Regents Hall.