David McFarland goes to the basket against Southern Indiana
last week. McFarland is No. 1 in the nation in assist-to-turnover
ratio at 7.25. The junior guard has 58 assists and only eight
Ramstetter, NKU Sports Information
Ky. - The Northern Kentucky men’s basketball team will travel
to Missouri-St. Louis on Thursday for an 8:30 p.m. Great Lakes Valley
Conference game with the Tritons.
The Norse will
then travel to Rolla, Mo., for a 4 p.m. Saturday contest with GLVC
rival Missouri S&T. NKU is 13-2 overall, 7-1 in the GLVC and
in first place in the GLVC East Division.
RANKED: NKU is ranked 25th nationally in the latest NCAA
Division II poll. It marks the first time NKU has entered the national
poll since March 11, 2003, when the Norse finished No. 4 in the
rankings after winning the GLVC Tournament. That NKU team featured
Brenden Stowers, Quentin Smith, Bobby St-Preux, Chris Seabrooks,
Mike Kelsey and Jesse Rupe and posted a 26-5 record.
here for Division II poll.
GLVC rival Drury
is ranked No. 4 nationally in the Division II poll. Three Great
Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference teams - No. 2 Grand Valley
State, No. 11 Findlay and No. 15 Gannon (Pa.) - are also in the
national poll. The GLVC and GLIAC compete for eight berths in the
NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region Tournament, which will be held
EARNS HONOR: Freshman guard Dennis Gagai was selected Great
Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week after averaging 22 points
per game last week in wins over Southern Indiana and Kentucky Wesleyan.
He began the week by pouring in a career-high 29 points in a 78-62
win over Southern Indiana in which he set an NKU record for 3-point
shooting accuracy by going 7-for-8 (.875) from behind the arc. He
also was 11-for-12 from the field as the Norse defeated the Screaming
Eagles for the first time since 2004.
Gagai then scored
15 points against Wesleyan, including three 3-pointers. For the
week, Gagai shot 72.7 percent from the field, including 10-for-16
from 3-point range. The Ironton, Ohio, native averages a team-leading
13.4 points per game this season and leads the GLVC in 3-point shooting
at .565. He is also No. 3 in the GLVC in field-goal percentage at
NO. 1 IN NATION: NKU junior guard David McFarland is No.
1 in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 7.25. The former
Boone County High School standout has 58 assists and only eight
turnovers this season.
IN THE CLUTCH: Junior guard Billy Finnell went on a 5-0
run himself last Saturday with a conventional three-point play and
then another layup to make the score 51-44 after Kentucky Wesleyan
drew to within two at 46-44 with under 10 minutes remaining. Finnell
then added a trey from the top of the key at the 3:15 mark to make
it 59-50 Norse and effectively bury the Panthers.
Finnell, a Cincinnati
Purcell Marian High School graduate who averages 3.3 points per
game, finished with 11 points.
The Norse have won seven straight against in-state rival
Kentucky Wesleyan and Norse head coach Dave Bezold owns a 7-0 record
against the Panthers. Kentucky Wesleyan had won nine consecutive
games entering the contest and fell to 14-3, 5-2 after the battle
for first place.
Gagai attempts a shot against Southern Indiana last week.
Gagai was named GLVC Player of the Week after averaging 22
points in key wins against USI and Kentucky Wesleyan.
HUMPHREY: Senior forward Vincent Humphrey scored 15 points
and grabbed six rebounds against the Panthers. Humphrey leads the
Norse with 4.1 rebounds per game and averages 8.7 points per game.
OF FORTUNE: After trailing 25-21 at halftime Saturday,
NKU opened the second half on a 21-8 run, including three straight
3-pointers by Harrison Morton, Humphrey and then Anthony Teague.
NKU made 15 of 26 second-half shots (57.7 percent) after shooting
just 30 percent in the first half. The Norse also made 8 of 12 second-half
3-pointers (66.7 percent) after making just 3 of 17 (17.6 percent)
in the first half.
swoon and second-half surge Saturday were not the norm for a Norse
club that has outscored opponents in the first half this season
by a score of 551-430 and has held off foes in the second half by
a combined score of 588-507.
JOINS 700 CLUB: NKU senior forward Harrison Morton enters
this week with 718 career points, which ranks 42nd in Norse history.
The 6-4 Lexington Catholic High School product averages 12.7 ppg
this season. Morton leads NKU with 22 steals and is shooting 56.5
percent from the field.
NEARS 70 WINS: NKU head coach Dave Bezold is now 68-37
in four years. He figures to reach the 70-win plateau faster than
any other coach in Norse history. Former NKU head coach Mike Beitzel
reached 70 wins in the middle of his fifth season (117 games) and
is currently the fastest to 70 victories with the Norse.
MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS: The Tritons are 6-9 overall and just
1-6 in the GLVC for a current fifth-place standing in the West Division
after a 76-58 loss at Wisconsin-Parkside on Jan. 19. The Tritons
are on a two-game losing streak after gaining their first conference
win of the season over Missouri S&T (3-12, 0-7) Jan. 12 in St.
Louis, Mo. Larricus
Brown leads the Tritons with 12.2 points per game on 43 percent
shooting from the field. Paul De Chellis leads Missouri-St. Louis
with 6.5 rebounds per game. The Norse are 15-5 in the all-time series
with Missouri-St. Louis.
LAST TIME AGAINST MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS: Steven Wright scored
20 points and added four rebounds and three steals to lead NKU to
a 68-53 win over the Tritons in Regents Hall on Jan. 13, 2007. Wright
and teammate Kevin Schappell combined for 36 of the Norse's 68 points.
Schappell scored 10 straight points for NKU during one stretch in
the second half as his team extended its lead to 64-47. Schappell
also extended his consecutive free-throws made streak to 16 by hitting
all five of his attempts from the line.
on the boards and finished with a 30-17 rebounding edge. Finnell
led NKU with seven rebounds and added eight points and two steals.
James Cripe scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds for NKU.
LAST TIME AGAINST MISSOURI S&T:
Schappell scored a career-high 28 points and Wright added 22 as
NKU defeated then-Missouri-Rolla, 81-73, in Regents Hall on Jan.
11, 2007. Schappell 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.