Ind. - Under normal circumstances, freshmen aren’t expected
take the big shots at winning time.
however, is not your average freshman. Just ask Saint Joseph’s
about the first-year guard from Northern Kentucky University and
his ability to bury big shots in the clutch.
a pair of 3-pointers in the final 1:24 of the game Saturday as NKU
posted a 58-55 win at Saint Joseph’s. He also made a pair
of free throws with 7.1 second left to give the Norse a three-point
lead, and NKU survived a last-second 3-point attempt from Will Jones.
half was a struggle, but we kept battling,” Gagai said. “The
guys on this team are hard workers and don’t quit. I knew
my shots had to start falling sooner or later, and I credit our
point guards for getting me open looks in this game. They did a
great job of dishing the ball.”
Gagai finished with a team-leading 14 points, eight of those in
the final two minutes. His 3-pointer with 1:24 remaining gave NKU
a 53-50 lead, and he extended the advantage to 56-50 with 33 seconds
left with another trey.
(assistant coach) Pat Ryan if I should have had him out there late
in the game, because he is a freshman and has struggled lately with
his shooting,” NKU head coach Dave Bezold said. “Pat
told me that Dennis needs to keep shooting, and he knocked down
two huge shots for us in the final two minutes. I’m glad we
kept him in the game.”
NKU (11-2 overall,
5-1 Great Lakes Valley Conference) shot 44 percent from the field,
but the Norse were 6-for-20 from 3-point range. Gagai made four
3-pointers and added an assist in 25 minutes of action as the Norse
remained atop the GLVC East Division standings.
(7-7, 3-3 GLVC) led by as many as nine points in the first half,
but NKU rallied and tied the score at 30-all at the break.
laboring in the first half, but I was feeling good because it was
tied at halftime,” Bezold said. “This is a very difficult
place for visiting teams, and we found a way to win. Saint Joseph’s
doesn’t lose very often in this building.”
led Saint Joseph’s with 14 points and eight rebounds, but
the Pumas managed to shoot just 32.7 percent from the field. NKU’s
defense also held Saint Joseph’s to 4-for-22 shooting from
dished out seven assists for NKU, which received 39 points from
its bench. DeAaron Williams scored eight points and grabbed seven
rebounds for NKU, while Harrison Morton added seven points and two
NKU plays host
to perennial NCAA Division II power Southern Indiana this Thursday
at 7:45 p.m. in Regents Hall.