Cripe dunks over Bellarmine’s Marcus Flynn in the second
half Monday night. Cripe finished with 12 points and four
Anderson, NKU Sports Information
Ky. - Whether it was pride, rivalry, Senior Night or a division
title within their grasp, the Norse of Northern Kentucky University
found a way to win under much adversity Monday night against Bellarmine.
The Norse clinched
the Great Lakes Valley Conference East Division crown with a 91-82
overtime victory against the Knights in Regents Hall. Bellarmine
appeared to be in control when Brandon Clifford hit a clutch 3-pointer
with 10.2 seconds remaining to take a 69-68 lead.
Billy Finnell, however, drove the length of the court and attempted
a double-clutching layup. Finnell was fouled going up, and hit the
first of two free throws with 5.3 seconds remaining to force overtime.
David Marshall, taking the helm with Dave Bezold out due to illness,
praised the sophomore's effort. “Coach Bezold had a comment
yesterday: 'Billy, when you’re not going hard, you’re
very average. When you’re going hard, you’re borderline
above average to great.' He went hard and was great today.”
The Norse got
their scoring from all hands, with five different players going
for double figures, led by Finnell's career-high 21-point effort
to go along with six assists and four rebounds.
care who scores the buckets as long as we win,” said Finnell,
who reached double figures for just the second time in the last
eight games. “Everybody is together and cares about one common
goal, to win games, and that’s what we did.”
In the extra
frame, it was all Norse, as they got the job done from the charity
stripe hitting 12-of-15 free throws to ice things in the extra frame.
Sixteen of Kevin Schappell's 18 points came in the second half,
while Vincent Humphrey came just short of a double-double with 18
points and a team-high nine rebounds.
always trying to tell Kevin to shoot the ball,” said Humphrey
of the senior. “He’s a team player who’ll try
to get somebody another shot or whatever he thinks is best for the
chipped in 17 points, while James Cripe added 12 points.
Senior Night, and we had a lot of emotion,” added Humphrey.“If
we won, we could send Bellarmine home and wrap up conference. We
just knew it was a must-win game.”
Finnell scores two of his career-high 21 points Monday night.
NKU defeated Bellarmine to win the GLVC East Division title.
that tonight's game was no comparison to their last meeting with
the Knights in Louisville. “You can take the tape from the
first time we played them and burn it in the fire because we’re
such a different team. We didn’t have an identity and we were
searching for it but now we’ve found it and know who we are.”
a marked difference in his team's intensity since the November humbling.
“Defensively, we played well. Down there, we were relaxed
and they took it to us. They kicked us around pretty well.
came up here, we had to work hard as a team and we had something
to prove to ourselves. That’s exactly what we did.”
his second contest after a 21-game hiatus due to eligibility concerns,
scored 25 of his game-high 27 points for Bellarmine (12-13, 8-9
GLVC) in the second half and overtime.
a hard match-up for us,” Marshall said Clifford, who went
5-for-8 from long range. “We haven’t seen a guy that’s
6-9 and who can can step out and shoot like he can. No matter how
many times we tell our guys, they’re just not used to seeing
someone his size step out and shoot.”
had 16 points and eight assists for the Knights, while Matt Otte
added 13 points and eight rebounds.
The Norse opened
things up early in the first with a 9-0 run to give themselves a
10-point lead, their largest of the night, with five minutes gone
in the game. Bellarmine responded with an 18-4 run to regain the
lead with less than eight minutes left. NKU came back to finish
the half with a 10-4 run, bringing things to a draw at 29-all through
Cripe came through
with six points in an 11-4 run for the Norse to open the second
half that came to a screeching halt after a pair of Clifford 3-pointers.
Humphrey and Schappell responded with long treys of their own to
retake a four-point lead with 12:47 left.
to hold on to their tenuous lead until Bellarmine came up with a
huge 9-2 run in the final 2:27 of the second half to set up Finnell's
tying free throw and the ensuing overtime period.
buckets in the extra frame, NKU exploded for a 14-4 run to put the
game out of reach, with Harrison Morton's alley-oop layup as time
expired adding an exclamation point to a division championship for
And if Schappell
has anything to say about it, it's not the last piece of hardware
going in the Regents Hall trophy case.
found our identity and know who we are. We’re going to be
pretty dangerous here in March.”
NKU (19-6, 12-5
GLVC) travels to face Saint Joseph's and Indianapolis to close out
the regular season. The GLVC Tournament is March 2-4 at Roberts
Stadium in Evansville, Ind.