scored 31 points
Ky. - She wasn’t quite perfect Monday night, but Northern
Kentucky University’s Karmen Graham was close.
a career-high 31 points and grabbed eight rebounds as NKU posted
a 68-48 win over West Virginia Wesleyan in first round of the Sunday
Challenger Classic in Regents Hall. Graham, a 6-foot-1 junior post
player, made her first nine shots and finished 12-for-13 from the
even know I did that well from the floor, actually, until someone
said something in the locker room,” said Graham, whose previous
career high was 28 points against Wayne (Mich.) State on Dec. 29,
2003. “It was exciting.”
Graham dominated the
inside, and when she wasn’t scoring, she was usually drawing
fouls. In fact, Graham attempted 12 free throws and converted seven
of those tosses.
Her 31 points were five
shy of tying the NKU record of 36, scored by Peggy Vincent on March
NKU improved to 6-2
and will meet Hillsdale (Mich.) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the final
game of the round-robin event. Hillsdale is 9-2 after defeating
Virginia Union, 71-55, in the opening game Monday.
Graham scored 17 points
and made all eight of her shots from the field in the first half
as NKU built a 35-20 lead. The Norse shot 50 percent (15-for-30)
from the field in the first half and had 12 assists.
NKU finished with 17
assists, which pleased head coach Nancy Winstel.
to see us pass the ball because we had five (assists) against Saint
Joseph’s and 10 against Indianapolis,” Winstel said.
“I think when you want to see how well your team is moving
the ball, you look at assists. I didn’t know we had 17, so
I was glad to see that.
Winner attempts a 3-pointer
“I thought we
probably should have had 25, but I guess as a coach you are never
satisfied, and tonight was one of those games.”
Brittany Winner and
Nicole Chiodi each dished out five assists to lead NKU. Cassie Brannen
finished with three assists for the Norse, who held West Virginia
Wesleyan (1-6) to just 31.8 percent shooting from the field.
Karyn Creager added
eight points for NKU, while Winner scored seven points and grabbed
eight rebounds. Karen Brackman came off the bench and added six
points for the Norse, who placed just one player (Graham ) in double
“She played great.
We need that from her,” Winstel said of Graham. “She’s
a leader, and she’s had such a solid career. She leads by
example in the ways she just goes about doing her business.
“It was hard to
take her out because she was playing so well. It couldn’t
happen to a better kid. She’s worked so hard, and she wants
to do well so badly.”
Sarah Grab scored 14
points to lead West Virginia Wesleyan. NKU won the rebounding battle
by a 38-29 margin and forced 22 turnovers by the Bobcats. Monday’s
game marked the first meeting between NKU and West Virginia Wesleyan
in women’s basketball.
Hillsdale 71, Virginia Union 55
NKU 68, West Virginia Wesleyan 48
Tues., Dec. 20
Virginia Union vs. West Virginia Wesleyan, 5:30 p.m.
Hillsdale vs. NKU, 7:30 p.m.