Winner battles SIUE’s Elyse Morris
Ky. - At times Saturday afternoon, Amber Shelton seemed unstoppable
on the Regents Hall court.
In the end,
as the final seconds were winding down with her Southern Illinois
at Edwardsville team trailing by a point, the junior forward was
Shelton, a 5-foot-11
transfer from Illinois State, hit a short jumper with 3.8 seconds
remaining to give SIUE a 65-64 upset over No. 10 Northern Kentucky
University. The Cougars rallied from a 62-57 deficit in the final
2:34 of the game to remain unbeaten (5-0) and defeat NKU in Regents
Hall for the first time since 1998.
never played against her before because she’s a transfer.
She’s an amazing player,” said Brittany Winner, who
scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds for NKU. “We tried
everybody on her. We’d keep her in front and she’d just
turn around and make that jump shot. You couldn’t stop her
today. She just had one of those games.”
Shelton - who
averaged 12 points per game at Illinois State - finished with a
game-high 24 points, including 17 in the second half. She did the
bulk of her offensive damage off the dribble, either hitting short
jumpers or driving to the basket.
late in the game that they were going to get the ball to (Shelton)
or (Elyse Morris). I knew she was going to take that shot,”
NKU head coach Nancy Winstel said. “Brittany Winner made a
great play to at least make them take it out of bounds right before
that. We just couldn’t get another stop. At the end, we just
couldn’t stop them.
were shooting foul shots. Putting them at the free-throw line is
not a stop, and I think they made all of them late in the game.
When we had our lead, all we had to do was execute and do what we
had to do down the stretch. We didn’t do it, and that really
a slow start and built a 50-44 lead with 11:44 left on Nicole Chiodi’s
conventional three-point play. Shelton responded with six straight
points to tie the game at 50-all with 8:29 remaining, and Morris
gave the Cougars a 52-50 lead with a layup a minute later.
Healy led NKU with 21 points
with a 10-2 run to take a 60-54 advantage with 4:30 remaining. Angela
Healy capped the spurt with a basket off an assist from Betsey Clark.
Healy finished with 21 points and nine rebounds.
she played great,” Winstel said. “I thought when we
were patient and we got the ball inside, they couldn’t stop
her. There were times that if we had done that more, she probably
would have had 30. That’s just discipline and understanding
what we’re trying to do, but, also, the kids are trying to
basket with 1:29 left gave NKU a 64-61 lead, and that turned out
to be the Norse’s final score. Shelton drew a foul with 1:08
left and hit a pair of free throws to bring SIUE within a point
at 64-63. She then stole a pass by Chiodi and appeared on her way
to a layup, but Winner hustled back and prevented Shelton from scoring
by knocking the ball out of her hands.
After a timeout,
SIUE ran the clock down and put the ball into Shelton’s hands.
She maneuvered into the lane and hit a short jumper to give the
Cougars the lead. A desperation attempt by NKU fell short, and SIUE
improved to 2-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference with its second
consecutive road upset.
Edwardsville is a very good team. They’ve brought in some
recruits that have helped them including three Division I transfers,”
Winstel said. “Their ability to put the ball on the floor
and create is just great. We had a chance to win the game, and give
Edwardsville credit for hitting big shots.”
SIUE shot 50
percent from the field and was 9-for-10 from the free-throw line.
NKU (3-1 overall, 1-1 GLVC) made 39.7 percent of its shots from
the field and won the rebounding battle by a 35-29 margin.
in 10 points and had three assists for NKU. Katie Butler added seven
points off the bench for the Norse, who shot 87.5 percent from the
had all the energy in the world, and we didn’t match that
at the beginning,” Winner said. “We picked it up, battled
back and were close to them at halftime. Then the whole second half
was just a battle.
go on a run and they’d come back. The ending just didn’t
turn out the way we wanted it.”
NKU will return
to action Wednesday at 7 p.m. against NAIA power Georgetown (Ky.)
in Regents Hall. The Norse then travel to Louisville, Ky., next
Saturday to meet Bellarmine in a GLVC showdown.