Wright soars for a first-half dunk Thursday night. The senior
guard scored 23 points to lead NKU past Kentucky Wesleyan,
Anderson, NKU Sports Information
Ky. - Sure, there were other players on the court, but Thursday
night was once again the Steven Wright Show as the Great Lakes Valley
Conference Player of the Week treated the Regents Hall crowd an
encore performance to his award-winning weekend.
On a night when
the Northern Kentucky University women's team solidified its spot
in the GLVC Tournament, the men's squad took one step closer to
the same with a 67-49 defeat of Kentucky Wesleyan on Thursday night.
The win pushed the NKU streak to four games.
Wright had a
personal 11-5 run early in the first half to extend the Norse lead
to double digits. His teammates responded with a 17-5 run later
in the first half to open up a 19-point halftime advantage. The
NKU defense kept Wesleyan on their heels, converting nine first-half
Panther turnovers into 12 points by the break.
our defensive intensity got us out of the gate,” said head
coach Dave Bezold. “Then that first half was the difference
in the game when we came out and played so hard. It also set the
tempo offensively for us as well."
NKU cooled off
in the second half, shooting an uncharacteristic 38.5 percent from
the field and hitting just one of nine 3-point attempts. In the
meantime, Wesleyan opened the floodgates with a 13-3 start to the
second half to bring the Panthers within nine with just less than
14 minutes remaining.
answered with another 9-3 run on the Panthers in the second half
and finished with a team-high 23 points and six rebounds. Another
10 turnovers by the Panthers kept them from clawing back into the
is what we expect out of him, but he’s a great guy,”
added teammate Vincent Humphrey, who scored 16 points. “We
know he’s our leader and as Steve goes, we go. The thing about
him is if he has an off night, we have other guys that can pick
us up but tonight he was on. He’s our floor leader, and I’m
glad he’s on our team."
the Norse could take advantage of the Panthers' suspect ballhandling.
“If they have an Achilles' heel, that is one of them; they
turn it over a lot. I don’t know how much of it was our good
defense, or if they were just careless with the basketball.”
Humphrey launches a 3-pointer during the first half. Humphrey
drained four treys en route to 16 points for the Norse.
“Coach Bez is always stressing to us to pick up the pressure
on the ball, get in the passing lanes, get tips or do anything possible
to get them out of their game. That’s what we did tonight,
especially in the second half when our offense was kind of laid
to our defense and it was a pretty good game.”
and Harrison Morton each contributed eight points. The Norse had
seven steals defensively, led by Morton's three.
led Kentucky Wesleyan (11-12, 4-12 GLVC) with 12 points on the night.
Jeff Fahnbulleh had his offensive production cut in half compared
with the teams' Jan. 18 meeting, but still registered a double-double
for the Panthers with 11 points and 16 rebounds.
is one of the best post players that has been in this conference
in a long time,” said Bezold of the GLVC's second-leading
we just played good team defense,” said Wright of the defensive
dominance, as the Norse held Wesleyan to 39 percent shooting, 12
points off their season average. “Coach emphasized that he
wanted us to play good, hard team defense, and it paid off.”
NKU (18-6, 11-5
GLVC) maintained first place in the GLVC East Division, but the
Norse could still finish as low as sixth if they do not continue
to action for the final time in Regents Hall this season Monday,
hosting rival Bellarmine in a makeup of Tuesday's postponement.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. NKU will honor its seniors - Wright,
Cripe, Anthony Teague, Kevin Schappell and manager Nathan Rutledge
- and their families.
The Norse will
wrap-up the regular season with a road trip to Saint Joseph's and
Indianapolis next weekend.