Graham scored 17 points to lead NKU past Mercyhurst (Pa.)
on Friday at the Florida Southern Holiday Classic.
- Flu-like symptoms might have prevented Karmen Graham from being
100 percent Friday afternoon, but it didn’t stop the 6-foot-1
senior from making Mercyhurst (Pa.) feel sick during Northern Kentucky
University's 76-50 victory at the Florida Southern Holiday Classic.
a team-leading 17 points in just 18 minutes of action as the Norse
cruised past Mercyhurst. The Kettering, Ohio, native also added
two assists as NKU finished the two-day tournament 2-0 and improved
to 7-3 overall.
a little bit better today than yesterday, but my goal is to come
in and work hard every day and see what happens on game day,"
Graham said. "I've had some up-and-down games this season,
but I'm just trying to get better each day."
saw up close why Graham earned honorable mention All-America accolades
last season. She finished 5-for-8 from the field and made all six
of her free throws.
great to see Karmen Graham have a big game like this, and it's a
good win against a team in our region," NKU head coach Nancy
Winstel said. "I don't think we were quite as focused as we
were against St. Rose (the previous game), but we hung in there."
Down by 23 points
early in the second half, Mercyhurst switched to an aggressive,
2-1-2 trapping press that gave NKU problems. The Lakers used a 12-0
run to slice a 46-23 NKU lead down to 46-35 with 13:33 remaining
in the game.
a good job with their press, but we didn't execute the way we need
to," Winstel said, noting her team's 23 turnovers. "We
were not looking at the whole floor. When we started being aggressive
and passing it around, we were getting two-on-ones and beating it.
Things started to unravel a little bit, but Mercyhurst throws a
lot of things at you, and it was good for us to see it."
three-point play by Cassie Brannen, followed by a Brittany Winner
basket and two free throws from Karyn Creager extended NKU's advantage
to 53-35. The 17th-ranked Norse coasted from there, with the final
margin being their largest lead.
finished with 10 points and four assists, extended her streak of
consecutive made free throws to 26 by sinking her only two attempts
Friday. Creager owns the school record of 27 straight made free
throws, which she set two years ago.
The senior guard
from Leipsic, Ohio, is closing in on that record and will tie it
by making her next attempt.
probably breaking my record," joked Winstel, a notoriously
bad free-throw shooter who brick-layered her way to 39.8 percent
accuracy (47-for-118) from the line during the 1974-75 season with
the Norse. "It's an awesome feat, and Karyn takes a great deal
of pride in her free-throw shooting. She's one of the best in our
conference, and she's around 90 percent every year."
Nicole Chiodi and Katie Butler each added 10 points for NKU, which
shot 55.3 percent from the field. The Norse held Mercyhurst to 29.6
percent from the field and limited the Lakers to 1-for-12 shooting
from 3-point range.
out a game-high six assists, and teammate Angela Healy added five
assists and four points. The previous night against St. Rose, Healy
poured in 24 points and grabbed 16 rebounds.
3-1 against teams from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic
Conference. That will be a positive when March rolls around and
bids for the NCAA Division II Tournament are determined.
Great Lakes Valley Conference play Jan. 4 at Wisconsin-Parkside,
followed two days later by a showdown with GLVC East power Lewis.