keyed NKU’s 22-6 run
Ky. - Nancy Winstel and her Northern Kentucky University women’s
basketball team made sure their Christmas break would be jolly Thursday
with a 74-55 victory against NCAA Division I member Loyola (Ill.).
Karmen Graham scored
18 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead NKU, which used a 22-6
run in the second half to pull away and defeat the Ramblers (0-11).
Karyn Creager keyed the run with six points as NKU (7-3) knocked
off a Division I opponent for the first time since Dec. 8, 1993,
when the Norse posted a 79-60 win over Morehead State.
“I thought defensively
we played very well the whole game,” said Winstel, who is
5-1 against the past six Division I opponents which have visited
Regents Hall. “Offensively, we had our spots where we threw
the ball away.
“When we ran our
stuff, we were very effective, and I thought we did a much better
job in the second half.”
Graham, a 6-foot-1 junior
post player who scored 48 points in two games during the Sunday
Challenger Classic earlier in the week, used 6-for-8 shooting from
the field to key NKU’s win against Loyola. She also connected
on a pair of 3-point shots and had two assists.
Angela Healy scored
13 points and added eight rebounds for NKU, which shot 52.6 percent
from the field. The Norse held Loyola to 37.5 percent shooting from
the field and forced 25 turnovers.
NKU used a 15-0 run
in the first half to turn a 22-20 deficit into a 35-22 lead. Cassie
Brannen powered in for a pair of baskets to start the run, and Brittany
Winner capped the spurt with a jumper to give NKU a 13-point advantage.
Winner, Creager and
Nicole Chiodi combined for 10 assists before halftime. NKU finished
with 18 assists as a team.
gets a second-half assist
just shows team play, making the extra pass for the person who is
a little more open,” Healy said of the 18 NKU assists. “I
thought we played together well as a team, and it was nice to finally
get some stuff going on offense to go along with our defense.”
A basket by
Emily Ponder drew Loyola with 40-37 with 15:30 remaining in the
game, but Chiodi and Creager countered with back-to-back layups
to extend the NKU lead to 44-37. After Ponder scored to make it
44-39, Brannen muscled her way to a basket while being fouled. She
added the free throw to give the Norse a 47-39 lead with 12:56 left.
two free throws to give NKU a 49-39 lead, and the Norse led by double
figures the remainder of the game. Creager and Chiodi ended the
run with consecutive baskets as the Norse owned a 62-43 advantage
with 7:59 remaining.
“Other than our
foul shooting, I thought we did a very good job in the second half,”
Winstel said of her team’s 56.3 percentage from the charity
“I was a little
frustrated with our foul shooting,” she added. “That’s
just not good enough. I
think it’s just relaxing, taking advantage of people being
sent to the free-throw line. But it wasn’t just one person.
It was everybody. We just have to do a better job.”
Creager finished with
11 points and four assists for NKU. Jenna Real led Loyola with 26
points, and Notre Dame Academy graduate Marquise Hanser added 16
Hanser entered Thursday’s
game averaging 18 ppg, and she was 6-for-18 from the field.
Winner scored eight
points, dished out five assists and had three steals, while Chiodi
had six points, five assists and two steals. Brannen finished with
seven points and four rebounds.
NKU will play host to
Brescia on Dec. 29 at 7 p.m.