Schappell takes aim at a 3-pointer in the second half Thursday.
The senior guard scored a career-high 28 points to lead NKU.
Ky. - Every basketball team needs a go-to player. And, as Northern
Kentucky University demonstrated Thursday night, sometimes it's
necessary to have two standout performers at winning time.
scored a career-high 28 points and Steven Wright added 22 as NKU
defeated Missouri-Rolla, 81-73, in Regents Hall. Schappell, a Loveland
High School graduate, was 7-for-12 from the field and made all 11
of his free-throw attempts. He also made three shots from 3-point
range and grabbed five rebounds as NKU improved to 10-4 overall,
3-3 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
made a trio of 3-point shots and grabbed a team-leading nine
rebounds. He also dished out three assists and added two steals
as NKU rallied from a 35-34 halftime deficit and then held off a
late comeback attempt by the Miners.
Wright and Kevin Schappell put us on their shoulders tonight, and
we gutted out this win," NKU head coach Dave Bezold said. "Kevin
made some big shots and was perfect at the line. Steve just continues
to be one of the best players in this conference with his ability
to score, rebound, play defense and make big shots.
to have a go-to player, and tonight we had both of them to rely
on for big plays. It was tough to watch us at times in the first
half, but give Rolla a great deal of credit because they played
very hard. We were able to generate a big run or two in the second
half, and Steven and Kevin both had a lot to do with it."
Ball hit two free throws to tie the game at 43-all with 14:07 remaining
in the game, NKU used a 10-2 run to take a 53-45 lead. Anthony Teague
scored five points during the spurt, and Schappell drained a 3-pointer
to cap the run.
my senior year, and I just want to win. That’s all I want
to do," he said. "It just hit me the other day that, as
of right now, we have only seven home games left and that’s
not very many. I’ve been here five years, so it’s all
just winding down.
me want to put the extra energy into doing whatever it takes like
diving for a loose ball or whatever it takes just to get the win.
We want to make it to the (NCAA) Tournament, and I’ve not
been there yet."
Wright soars over Missouri-Rolla’s Shea Wiemann in the
first half for a dunk. Wright finished with 22 points and
cut the lead to 55-51, Schappell answered. He took a pass from Wright
on the left wing and launched a 3-point shot with Miner defender
Owain Hall charging at him. Hall bumped Schappell just as the shot
was released, and the ball banked in as a foul was called.
the free throw for the four-point play, and the Norse again led
when we needed it, even though he didn't call (the bank),"
made it interesting in the final 40 seconds by knocking down a trio
of long-range treys, but Wright, Schappell and Teague combined to
hit eight free throws in the final 47 seconds to seal the win. The
bench produced 46 points for NKU on Thursday night, with Schappell's
28 leading the way.
that coming into this year that we were going to have depth,"
Wright said. "With Schappell coming off the bench, he gives
a really good spark. With Schappell, he just works on his game all
day and all night."
as emerged into one of the top all-around players in the GLVC, helped
NKU win the rebounding battle by a 38-28 margin. The 6-foot-3 senior
guard has led NKU in rebounding all season, and Thursday night was
more of the same. Point guard Billy Finnell grabbed six rebounds
for the Norse.
on it as a team," Wright said of the rebounding by NKU's guards.
"Coach tells us in practice that the guards have to come down
and rebound because we become smaller inside when Cripe is out."
13 points for the Norse, who shot 42.6 percent from the field. Joe
Shardo led Missouri-Rolla (6-8, 1-6 GLVC) with 25 points.
NKU will play
host to Missouri-St. Louis at 3:15 p.m. Saturday. A year ago, the
Rivermen defeated the Norse on a last-second shot at St. Louis,
tough game coming up, but that's the story each time you play someone
in the GLVC," Bezold said. "We need to win this game,
but it's going to be a challenge because they are well-coached and
have some talented basketball players."