Williams throws down a dunk against Southern Indiana during
the first half of NKU’s 78-62 win Thursday night in
Ky. - Unless something drastic happens between now and early March,
Thursday night marked Southern Indiana’s final visit to Regents
Hall. And it's an evening the Screaming Eagles would rather forget.
scored a career-high 29 points and set a Northern Kentucky University
3-point shooting record as the Norse coasted to a 78-62 win over
Southern Indiana in Regents Hall. Gagai, a freshman guard from Ironton,
Ohio, was 7-for-8 from 3-point range to set an NKU single-game record
at 87.5 percent.
telling our radio crew that when I was down in the Albright Health
Center shooting around, I could tell that I was shooting really
well,” Gagai said after shattering the NKU 3-point shooting
record of 77.7 percent, set by Brian Lawhon on Nov. 20, 1999.
our guards are passing the ball as well as they did and getting
me open, it makes it a lot easier to get me into that flow, so I
give a lot of credit to those guys."
NKU (12-2 overall,
6-1 Great Lakes Valley Conference) shot 60 percent from the field
and defeated Southern Indiana for the first time since 2004. The
Norse also kept sole possession of first place in the GLVC East
Division with the victory.
Going into Thursday,
Southern Indiana (9-5 overall, 3-3 GLVC) had defeated NKU eight
consecutive times. With this being the final season of basketball
in Regents Hall, the Norse made sure the Screaming Eagles’
last visit to the old gym would not result in a ninth straight loss
to the visitors from Evansville, Ind.
NKU head coach
Dave Bezold praised the NKU crowd for doing its share in the win.
just great to look over and see the student section being almost
completely full, and I think that is a reward for what these kids
are doing this year,” Bezold said. “Our fans want to
see winning basketball and a good team, which I think we’ve
got. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep this thing going, and
the fans will continue to give us this type of support, because
it was tremendous.”
added 18 points and four assists for NKU, while Harrison Morton
scored 10. DeAaron Williams added eight points off the bench, including
a pair of first-half dunks that helped the Norse build a 41-27 lead
Gagai scored 12 points in the first half on 4-for-5 shooting from
Gagai challenges Southern Indiana’s Norman Plummer (21)
in the first half Thursday night. Gagai scored a career-high
29 points to lead the Norse.
he’s shooting like that, you just sit back and you watch him,”
Bezold said. “I hope he can continue to shoot like he did
tonight for the rest of the season, and we’ll have a chance
to beat anybody on our schedule.”
led Southern Indiana with 22 points and 11 rebounds. The 6-foot-7
transfer from the University of Dayton was 9-for-14 from the field.
we did a pretty good job of not giving (Plummer) clean looks very
often. He’s just a handful, and I just give all of the credit
to Harrison Morton and those guys for just battling him,”
Bezold said. “I told Harrison that he had to wrestle a bear
all night long and he’ll have to Saturday, too, because Kentucky
Wesleyan has (Jeff) Fahnbulleh, and he might be the best post player
in the GLVC.”
finished 6-for-10 from the field, drained a pair of 3-pointers in
the second half that allowed NKU to coast past the visitors.
we recruit guys, we look to see if they have something different
to bring to the table and Scotty does,” Bezold said. “As
far as match-ups, they tried to put a big guy on him, then they
tried to put a little guy on him, but he just has that knack about
him to figure out who is guarding him and how to get an angle to
score. He’s capable of making plays off the dribble, which
is another big thing.”
NKU will meet
Kentucky Wesleyan at 3:15 p.m. Saturday in a showdown for first
place in the GLVC East Division. The Panthers, who have won nine
consecutive games, defeated Bellarmine, 82-69, on Thursday night
and are 14-2 overall, 5-1 in the GLVC.
Gagai said he
hopes the NKU students return Saturday, and that the Norse players
notice the support from the home fans.
a great feeling when these fans come out and support us, and it
gives us extra motivation to play the games like this,” Gagai