Louis players and coaches watch helplessly as Steven Wright
soars in for a dunk during the first half of NKU’s 68-53
win Saturday. The slam was waved off, however, due to a walking
Ky. - He continues to make the spectacular seem routine, and that
in itself says it all about Northern Kentucky University's Steven
senior guard's gravity-defying, welcome-to-your-posterization dunks
have become a treat that the Regents Hall crowds expect each game.
Forget the fact Wright scores, rebounds, handles the ball and plays
great defense, too. He also hits big shots and has made NKU a better
team this season after transferring from Division I Bowling Green
State, where he scored more than 700 career points for the Falcons.
performance, a 20-point, four-rebound, three-steals effort, led
NKU to a 68-53 win over Missouri-St. Louis in Regents Hall on Saturday.
The Norse extended their winning streak to four with the victory
and improved to 11-4 overall, 4-3 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
NKU head coach
Dave Bezold appreciates the crowd-pleasing moments as much as anyone,
but he is a bigger fan of Wright's consistent play.
was struggling early, but then he made big plays for us and kept
us there. He kept scoring so we didn’t go on any extended
droughts," Bezold said of Wright, who netted 14 points in the
first half to keep NKU in the lead. "He's one of those special
players who wants to win so badly. I knew he would make our fans
happy because he's such a great athlete and tremendous leaper. But
Steven Wright is a big-time winner who does what it takes for us
to be successful."
That's not to
say Wright didn't give the crowd its dose of excitement Saturday
afternoon. He soared in for two dunks - one that counted, and one
that was waved off - in the first half.
The second one
- a two-handed, rim-rattling jam coming from the left side off the
dribble - counted and sent two Missouri-St. Louis defenders scurrying
to get out of the way as Wright's lift-off commenced. Two others
watched helplessly and joined Wright's 2006-07 posterization collection.
added an eye-popping block of a Brett Ledbetter driving layup attempt,
a rejection that had the Norse defender's hand well above the rim.
This was the same Brett Ledbetter who entered the week as the GLVC's
top scorer at more than 17 points per game.
time it counts. Steven Wright initiates two more into his
posterization fraternity with this two-handed dunk in the
first half. Wright led NKU with 20 points, three steals and
two blocked shots on Saturday.
Wright, as usual,
praised his teammates for their efforts and refused to take any
credit. He and teammate Kevin Schappell combined for 36 of the Norse's
68 points, and Wright pointed to the reason.
getting in the gym and working. We’re always in the gym together
shooting," said Wright, the former Dayton Colonel White High
School standout. "We practice, get a lot of shots off, and
it’s paying off."
10 straight points for NKU during one stretch in the second half
as his team extended its lead to 64-47. The senior from Loveland
High School drained a trio of 3-point shots Saturday and extended
his consecutive free-throws made streak to 16 over the past two
games by hitting all five of his attempts from the line.
always, was already looking forward to NKU's next game.
big for us to win two conference games at home and three in a row
this week," he said. "We go on the road and have a big
weekend coming up at Kentucky Wesleyan and Southern Indiana. With
a Saint Joseph's loss we’ll be in first place (in the GLVC
East Division), so this was a huge win today."
wish was granted, as Rockhurst knocked off Saint Joseph's on Saturday
to elevate NKU into a four-way tie atop the GLVC East standings.
the rebounding and finished with a 30-17 edge on the boards. Billy
Finnell, a Purcell Marian graduate, led NKU with seven rebounds
and added eight points and two steals.
in practice, coach got all over us about rebounding," Schappell
said. "He wrote on the board how many rebounds every player
averaged, so everybody made sure they stepped it up this week when
it came to getting rebounds."
scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds for NKU, which is 15-5
in the all-time series with Missouri-St. Louis. David Ward led the
Rivermen (5-9, 1-6 GLVC) with 12 points.
NKU will play at Kentucky Wesleyan at 8:30 p.m. Thursday night.
The Norse conclude the difficult two-game road trip at nationally
ranked Southern Indiana at 4:15 p.m. Saturday at Evansville, Ind.