guard Mark Hawkins challenges Indianapolis during the first
half of the Norse’s 70-57 win on Saturday night. Hawkins,
one of five NKU seniors honored before the game, finished
with eight points.
FOR PHOTO GALLERY
Ramstetter, NKU Sports Information
Ky. - With three Northern Kentucky University coaching legends from
the past serving as honorary head coaches Saturday night, the Norse
closed out the Regents Hall era in style, downing Indianapolis,
70-57, in front of a standing-room only crowd.
Also in attendance
Saturday and recognized at halftime were members from the inaugural
1971-72 season of then-Northern Kentucky State College men's basketball.
The 1971-72 team had no home gym in which to play its games or practice.
The following season, Regents Hall opened and provided a home for
Norse basketball the next 36 years.
All that ended
Saturday night on a winning note.
player Travis Rasso scored 19 points in his final home game as the
Norse ended a two-game losing streak by knocking off their Great
Lakes Valley Conference rival for the second time this season. Former
NKU head coaches Mote Hils, Mike Beitzel and Ken Shields received
warm welcomes from the sellout crowd, and Rasso put together one
of his best efforts of the season.
trying to go out with a bang,” Rasso, a Boone County High
School graduate, said. “I love playing here. It’s a
great atmosphere. I’m going to miss it. I just wanted to leave
a mark on the last game here.”
Rasso did not
play in Thursday’s loss to Saint Joseph’s, but was in
the starting lineup Saturday, made an impact immediately and often.
The center was 7-for-8 from the field and converted five of his
six free throws.
an opportunity, and it’s Senior Night,” NKU head coach
Dave Bezold said. “He really was going to play against Saint
Joe, but once their big guy went out with an injury, I just didn’t
like the matchup. That’s the only reason he didn’t play
that game. So, he knew going in he was going to start. He was relaxed
and he did some really good things for us.”
Morton scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Norse.
Freshman Dennis Gagai scored 12 points for NKU, which clinched a
spot in the GLVC Tournament next month.
this game was big,” Rasso said. “Obviously, because
it was the last game, but we needed the win because we lost two
in a row. We had to get back on a winning streak because we’re
about to go on the road for the last four games. The road in the
GLVC is just not easy.
thing we did differently, we wanted to be aggressive on defense.”
Bezold was pleased
his team got back to playing its brand of basketball following the
disappointing losing streak.
pride,” Bezold said. “We knew we were a good basketball
team. We just had to get a relaxed game. I think we were putting
so much pressure on ourselves just to win. They wanted to win so
bad, we weren’t able to play our game.”
NKU coaches Mote Hils (left) and Ken Shields talk Saturday
night during the Regents Hall finale.
The Norse led
38-18 at halftime, surging ahead early with a 14-1 run to start
the game. Indianapolis missed its first 12 shots from the field
and didn’t convert a field goal until the 10:15 mark of the
early on when you make some shots,” Bezold said. “It
relaxed everybody. I thought our concentration was much better for
40 minutes. They missed some good shots, but fundamentally we were
better than we had been.”
never led in the game and NKU led by as many as 24 in the second
half. NKU shot 55.6 percent from the field while Indianapolis shot
only 35.8 percent.
NKU is tied
for second place in the GLVC East Division with Lewis, which upset
first-place Kentucky Wesleyan, 58-55, at Romeoville, Ill., on Saturday.
NKU will travel to Bellarmine on Tuesday before visiting Kentucky
Wesleyan on Thursday. The Norse beat the Panthers last month in
NKU will then
close out the regular season with a road trip to Wisconsin-Parkside
The Norse also
honored seniors Vincent Humphrey, Mark Hawkins and Anthony Teague,
as well as Rasso and Morton, in pregame Senior Night festivities.
Hawkins finished with eight points, while Humphrey and Teague each
added four points.
led Indianapolis (12-11 overall, 6-9 GLVC) with 12 points. Brock,
however, was just 5-for-16 from the field.