drives past Drury’s defense
Ky. - Too many turnovers against the pressure defense of Drury spelled
the end of Northern Kentucky University’s four-game winning
streak Saturday afternoon.
No. 2 nationally in the Division II poll, forced 30 turnovers -
22 in the first half - to knock off NKU, 56-45, in a battle of unbeaten
teams in Regents Hall. It marked the first-ever meeting between
the two perennial powers in women’s basketball.
by many as the favorite to win the NCAA Division II national championship,
used its full-court pressure to build a double-digit lead in the
first half and survived an NKU rally to improve to 6-0 overall,
2-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
to 4-1 overall, 1-1 in the GLVC.
“I think Drury
is very, very, very good. Defensively, they just keep coming at
you. Offensively, they just keep coming at you. We haven’t
played anybody like that,” NKU head coach Nancy Winstel said.
“It seemed like every time we were in a position to make a
run, they would make a play, and I think that’s the mark of
a great team.
“I was disappointed
with us in the fact that we didn’t do some things, and we
turned the ball over entirely too much. But I do think you have
to give Drury credit.”
Molly Carter scored 14 points and had four steals to lead Drury,
which is favored to win the GLVC West. Allison Regier added 11 points
and sparked the defense with six steals.
After a pair of baskets
by freshman Cassie Brannen gave NKU a 10-7 lead, Drury responded
with a 17-2 run to take a 24-12 advantage. The Norse committed 11
turnovers during the Drury spurt.
had seven points
Amanda Newton scored
six points during the run for Drury, which took a 28-20 lead into
halftime despite being outrebounded by a 20-9 margin. NKU, however,
turned the ball over 22 times in the first half.
“I think that we couldn’t get into our half-court (offense),
and that really hurt us,” NKU junior post player Karmen Graham
said. “I don’t know how many turnovers we finished with,
but we had 22 in the first half, and it’s hard to win a game
when you keep throwing the ball away.”
Drury increased its lead to 38-27 with 13:29 left in the game on
a layup by Kara Rutledge. NKU rallied and cut the deficit to 38-36
when Brittany Winner made a 3-pointer with 7:24 remaining.
Drury countered with a 10-2 run to build a 48-38 lead and made
five free throws in the final minute to seal the win. NKU held Drury
to 31.6 percent shooting from the field, but the 30 turnovers were
too much to overcome.
The Norse won the rebounding battle by a 36-31 margin, but NKU
made just 37.8 percent of its shots from the field, including 25
percent in the second half.
Graham scored a game-high 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds for
NKU. Winner and Nicole Chiodi each added seven points for the Norse.
preseason pick as National Player of the Year by Division II Bulletin,
was held to eight points on 4-for-13 shooting from the field. Newton
entered the game averaging 19.4 points, but she did not score in
the second half Saturday.
“I think that (containing Newton) was one of our goals at
the beginning of the game,” Graham said.
NKU will play a GLVC
road game at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Saint Joseph’s. The Norse
will also meet Indianapolis on the road next Saturday at 1 p.m.