Wright challenges Brandon Dagans (24) of Lewis during the
first half. Wright scored 23 points, grabbed nine rebounds
and dished out seven assists to lead NKU to an 82-66 win.
The senior guard also drained five 3-point shots and helped
the Norse remain atop the GLVC East Division standings.
Anderson, NKU Sports Information
Ky. - Five players scored in double-figures Thursday night as Northern
Kentucky University took a key Great Lakes Valley Conference win
against Lewis in Regents Hall.
led NKU with 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Kevin Schappell
came off the bench to add 13, with all four of his field goals coming
from 3-point range. Billy Finnell also chipped in 13, while James
Cripe and Vincent Humphrey each had 12 points.
to come out and make a statement,” said Humphrey, who averages
7.4 points on the season but has stepped things up as of late, scoring
40 points over his last three games. “Coach Bezold stressed
that we've dug ourselves a hole as far as regionals are concerned.
It's all in our hands as long as we take care of our division games.”
got a lot of talent and depth, it's been one of our strengths all
year,” said Schappell, who helped the NKU win the bench battle,
20-7. “We don't need one or two guys scoring 20 points each
night. It's better to have five or six guys score double figures.
that happens, teams can't match up with you.”
was the first of a four-game homestand and six straight games against
GLVC East competition to finish the regular season.
right on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament, so we want to win them
all,” noted Schappell, “We've got four home games in
a row, and if we can take care of business here, we can assure ourselves
a spot in the tournament.”
The GLVC's most
deadly 3-point shooting team showed its mettle once again, hitting
50 percent from long-range and 50.9 percent from the field. Almost
half of NKU's field goals were on the perimeter.
But the story
of the game may have been born of simple fundamentals, as the Norse
broke a 10-year-old school record with just four turnovers in the
contest. NKU held themselves to five on two separate occasions,
the most recent against Oakland (Mich.) during the 1996-97 season.
Meanwhile, the Norse forced 14 Flyer turnovers, converting them
into 21 points on the scoreboard.
Head coach Dave
Bezold was surprised by the stat. “I didn't realize we only
had four turnovers. But it gave us more opportunities to shoot the
ball and score, and kept Lewis from getting those transition opportunities.”
we're starting to come along and play well together as a team,”
said Humphrey. “Everyone knows their spots and knows where
everyone is supposed to be, so it's all just coming together.”
confidence in each other,” added Schappell, who had three
of NKU's 17 assists on the night. “We're not a selfish team.
Everybody is always looking to make the extra pass, and we know
where each person is.”
Cripe attempts a jumper during the first half Thursday night.
Cripe finished with 12 points in 22 minutes of action.
efficiency and ball-handling prowess helped mask a difficult day
on the boards, as NKU was outrebounded 33-23 on the night.
want that to happen, but they've got a good inside presence with
(Stephan) Bolt,” said Bezold of the 6-foot-6 junior forward.
Bolt had 10 rebounds on the night to go with his 17 points. Brandon
Dagans led the Flyers with 25 points.
coming in that (Bolt and Dagans) would be the key players and if
we shut them down, as well as their shooters, we could come away
with a win,” added Humphrey. The Norse allowed just 14 points
to the rest of the Flyers' team, who shot a respectable 46.9 percent
from the floor.
Lewis came out
on fire early, opening up the game with an 8-2 run in the game's
first two minutes. NKU responded and never looked back when an Anthony
Teague 3-pointer with 14:27 left in the first half sparked a 28-7
run to extend the lead to 35-19.
7-7 GLVC) responded with a 14-4 run to open the second half, bookended
by a pair of Brandon Dagans 3-pointers that cut the lead to six
with just under 16 minutes left. The Norse continued to light it
up from downtown, however, as five of their first seven field goals
in the second half came from beyond the arc allowing them to keep
Cripe took the
game inside about halfway through the second frame, scoring NKU's
next eight points on his own as he helped re-open the 17-point lead.
The Norse led by as much as 20 in the second before settling for
the 16-point final margin.
The win puts
the Norse at 16-6 overall and 9-5 in the GLVC to lead the East Division.
They currently hold a 1 1⁄2 game lead on Saint Joseph's and
The Norse return
to action Saturday afternoon when they host GLVC East rival Wisconsin-Parkside
at 3:15 p.m. NKU will be looking to avenge its 80-73 loss to the
Rangers last month in Kenosha, Wis.
The Norse conclude
their home schedule next week with games against in-state rivals
Bellarmine (on Tuesday) and Kentucky Wesleyan (on Thursday), with
both games set to tip-off at 7:45 p.m.
Prior to the
start of the contest against Kentucky Wesleyan, NKU will recognize
its four senior players - Wright, Teague, Schappell and Cripe –
manager Nathan Rutledge and their families.