Morton vs. Cincinnati last season
Ky. - Northern Kentucky University opens its exhibition schedule
next Wednesday night at 7 p.m. against the University of Cincinnati
in the Fifth Third Arena in Clifton.
It will be the
first of two exhibition games against Division I opponents for NKU,
which finished 17-11 last season. The Norse will also meet Xavier
at 7 p.m. on Nov. 6 at the Cintas Center.
games will be broadcast live on WIOK (107.5 FM). The games can also
be heard live on the Internet at http://athletics.nku.edu.
both exhibition games can be purchased by calling the NKU ticket
line at (859) 572-6639.
three starters from last season and add an impressive group of newcomers.
The Norse are the preseason favorites in the Great Lakes Valley
Conference East Division.
Kevin Schappell averaged 11.2 points per game last season and is
NKU’s top returning scorer. A graduate of Loveland High School,
Schappell earned honorable mention All-GLVC accolades last season.
for NKU is sophomore guard Billy Finnell, who was named the GLVC
Freshman of the Year last season after averaging 8.6 ppg and 4.4
assists per game. Finnell, who became NKU’s go-to player late
in games last season, is a graduate of Purcell Marian High School
Harrison Morton (5.4 ppg), Mark Hawkins (5.7 ppg), Vincent Humphrey
(8.0 ppg), Travis Rasso (4.3 ppg), Scott Bibbins (3.3 ppg) and David
McFarland (2.5 ppg) give NKU an experienced nucleus.
SERIES: NKU and UC met seven times in regular-season contests
from 1981-1988, and the Bearcats hold a 7-0 lead against the Norse
in the all-time series.
After the 1988-89
season, however, UC dropped the series against NKU to boost its
strength of schedule. The Bearcats do not play non-Division I opponents
in the regular season because of the RPI ratings that help determine
NCAA Tournament berths.
SEASON’S EXHIBITION AGAINST UC: On Nov. 12, 2005,
Cincinnati used torrid shooting from the field to post a 96-60 victory
over NKU at Fifth Third Arena. Cincinnati shot 66.7 percent from
the field - including 76 percent in the second half - and cruised
to the win. The Bearcats also used 10-for-20 shooting from 3-point
range and a 33-26 rebounding advantage to knock off NKU for the
fifth consecutive year in their annual exhibition contest in front
of a crowd of 6,937.
Eric Hicks led
Cincinnati with 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
The Bearcats also allowed NKU to shoot just 31.5 percent from the
NEWCOMERS: An impressive group of newcomers could help
make NKU a contender for the GLVC title this season. The newcomers
include James Cripe, a 7-foot, 255-pound center who played at the
University of Dayton the past three years. Cripe is the tallest
player in Norse history and is expected to provide NKU with rebounding,
scoring and interior defense.
Wright is a key newcomer for NKU
2.6 points and 2.2 rebounds last season in 24 games for Dayton.
He scored a career-high 14 points last November as Dayton posted
a road upset at Cincinnati.
newcomer is senior guard Steven Wright, a transfer from Bowling
Green State who played his prep basketball at Dayton Colonel White
High School. Wright, an outstanding backcourt performer with great
leaping ability, averaged 11.4 points per game at Bowling Green
The third Division
I transfer on the roster is 6-5 guard/forward Anthony Teague, a
long-range shooting specialist who played briefly at New Mexico.
Teague scored 10 points against Ole Miss last season while at New
Mexico. As a standout junior college player at Dodge City (Kan.),
Teague averaged 17.3 ppg during the 2004-05 season.
NKU also added
two talented recruits - 6-6, 235-pound junior Darral Payton and
6-7, 210-pound freshman David Jefferson - who should challenge for
immediate playing time. Payton, a former standout at Withrow High
School in Cincinnati, played at Vincennes (Ind.) last season and
averaged 6.6 points and 5.5 rebounds. Jefferson, one of the top
players in the state of Virginia as a senior in high school, is
an outstanding athlete who can go to the basket or shoot from the
AGAINST DIVISION I OPPONENTS: NKU is 0-8 against Division
I opponents since 2001. The Norse are 0-5 against Cincinnati, 0-1
against Kentucky, 0-1 against Xavier and 0-1 against Ohio State.
Last season, the Norse dropped a 78-44 decision at Xavier. NKU also
lost by a 96-60 score at Cincinnati.
LAST WIN AGAINST A DIVISION I OPPONENT: On Jan. 14, 1984,
NKU stunned Tennessee State, 66-64, in Regents Hall. It was NKU’s
second win of the season against a Division I foe (the Norse also
knocked off Evansville), and it marked the final time a Division
I men’s opponent would visit Regents Hall.
CONNECTION: Kevin Schappell (Loveland), James Cripe (Loveland),
Mark Hawkins (Finneytown), Mike Kimmey (Sycamore), Billy Finnell
(Purcell Marian) and Darral Payton (Withrow) all played their high
school basketball in Cincinnati.
OPEN REGULAR SEASON AGAINST FERRIS STATE: NKU begins the
regular season at 7:45 p.m. Nov. 17 against Ferris State in the
John L. Griffin/Lions Club Classic in Regents Hall. Ferris State
advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament last season and is expected
to challenge for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
championship this season.
The next night,
NKU will meet Wayne (Mich.) State at 7:45 p.m. in the final game
of the John L. Griffin/Lions Club Classic.