Williams soars in for two of his 18 points during NKU’s
91-61 win over Rockhurst. Williams also grabbed seven rebounds
and blocked two shots.
Ky. - How deep is the bench at Northern Kentucky University? On
Thursday night, the Norse reserves combined for 58 points, 17 rebounds
and nine assists during a 91-61 victory against Rockhurst.
we’ve got a number of scorers up and down our roster, and
on any given night they can put up the numbers," NKU head coach
Dave Bezold said after his team captured its eighth consecutive
win. "We’re just fortunate to have that depth. We were
able to run fresh guys out there and have fresh legs throughout
the game, and that was a big factor."
Dennis Gagai poured in 26 points to lead NKU, which was 15-for-28
from 3-point range. Gagai knocked down six treys and also grabbed
four rebounds off the Norse bench.
make the extra pass and Dennis has a good look, he’s a fantastic
scorer and fantastic shooter," Bezold said of the Ironton,
Ohio, native. "I'm glad he’s a freshman and he's here
for four years. He is going to be an outstanding player."
DeAaron Williams finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and two
blocked shots in a reserve role for NKU. Williams was 7-for-8 from
the field, including three dunks. The 6-foot-5 Williams, who became
eligible Dec. 19, rammed home a lob pass in the first half for a
31-20 NKU lead, much to the delight of the Regents Hall crowd.
it’s just energy," Williams said of the impact a dunk
has on teammates and the crowd. "When you see your teammates
make great plays, it lifts the whole team up. It doesn’t have
to be a dunk. It can be a three like Gagai’s, or a step-back
three or those shots that (Anthony) Teague made.
just when you see your teammates make a great play, it brings the
whole team up and it brings everyone together. You see that with
our team because we just want to win and those plays help the effort."
14 points and connected on four 3-pointers for NKU, which shot 59.6
percent from the field. Teague also blocked four shots and had three
added 11 points and four rebounds as NKU improved to 9-1 overall,
3-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The Norse committed just
six turnovers the entire game and won the rebounding battle, 27-25.
Gagai (left) attempts a shot in the first half against Rockhurst.
dished out six assists and had no turnovers, while Billy Finnell
added five assists without a turnover.
a great job of taking care of the ball and making sure we had good
shots," Bezold said. "We’re very fortunate that
DeAaron became eligible and Dennis is back to being healthy. I think
we can continue to get better because we’ve only been able
to play together for a couple of weeks. We’re just going to
get more and more familiar with each other, but we played very well
in this game."
Joey Deas led
Rockhurst (4-4, 1-2 GLVC) with 20 points, and John Torson added
11 points. The Hawks, however, shot just 39.3 percent from the field
in the first half, fell behind by 16 points (47-31) at the break
and never recovered.
shooting - much of it from the bench - made sure of that.
knocking them down, we’re a tough team to beat," Williams
said of the Norse's 15-for-28 shooting from 3-point range. "Everyone
is sharing the basketball to get open looks, and that is the most
you can ask for."
The Norse play
host to powerful Drury on Saturday at 3:15 p.m. The Panthers, who
posted a 74-71 win at Bellarmine on Thursday, are ranked No. 6 nationally
in the NCAA Division II poll.
A year ago,
NKU won two of the three meetings with Drury. The Panthers defeated
NKU at Springfield, Mo., but the Norse bounced back and eliminated
Drury from both the GLVC Tournament and NCAA Division II Great Lakes
GLIDES THROUGH DE AIR (ON) WITH DE GREATEST OF EASE (Part
forward DeAaron Williams shows off his version of the right
stuff for the Regents Hall crowd during the Norse's 91-61
win over Rockhurst. (Photo sequence by Jeff McCurry and Tim
Downer, NKU Sports Information)