Graham battles Ashley Elmore
Ky. - Having already knocked off defending NCAA Division II national
champion Grand Valley State earlier this season, Bellarmine served
notice to the Great Lakes Valley Conference it is a serious title
reinforced that message Saturday night during an 85-78 victory over
No. 12 Northern Kentucky University, the defending GLVC Tournament
champion and preseason favorite to win the GLVC East Division title.
72.7 percent of its 3-point attempts, won the rebounding battle
by a 35-26 margin and finished 29-for-37 from the free-throw line.
Taylor Kopple and Angela Smith combined for 44 points to lead the
Knights, who avenged a pair of losses to NKU last season.
Kopple, a sophomore
forward, scored a career-high 24 points and was 12-for-15 at the
line. The Western Kentucky transfer also hauled down seven rebounds
and dished out four assists.
18 of her 20 points in the second half. She also drained a trio
of key 3-pointers for the Knights, who improved to 6-1 overall,
2-1 in the GLVC.
NKU (4-2 overall,
1-2 GLVC) battled back from an eight-point deficit to close within
a point of Bellarmine late in the first half, but Dana Beaven hit
a 3-pointer right before the buzzer to give the Knights a 33-29
lead at the break. Beaven finished with 18 points, six rebounds
and three blocked shots.
NKU opened the
second half with a 10-4 run and took a 39-37 lead with 16:19 remaining
on a pair of free throws from Karyn Creager after Bellarmine head
coach Dave Smith was hit with a technical foul. The Knights countered
with a 24-12 spurt that was sparked by a pair of 3-pointers from
with 3:29 left in the game cut the Bellarmine lead to 69-65, but
NKU scored just one basket during the next two minutes. Bellarmine,
meanwhile, made nine free throws in the final 57 seconds to seal
scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead NKU, which shot
51 percent from the field. Creager added 14 points and four assists,
while Katie Butler scored 13 points off the bench.
finished with 11 points, two blocked shots and two assists, while
teammate Nicole Chiodi added eight points, two blocks and three
assists. Karmen Graham scored eight points for NKU, which owns a
41-26 lead in the all-time series with Bellarmine.
A year ago,
NKU posted an 82-70 win over Bellarmine in Knights Hall. Prior to
that, however, NKU had not beaten the Knights on the road since
NKU will take
off next week for exams and next be in action Dec. 18 in the Travel
America Classic in Regents Hall. The Norse will face Northern Michigan
at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18.
night at 7:30 p.m., NKU will meet defending national champion Grand
Valley State. Nationally ranked Emporia State is also in the round-robin
Travel America Classic.
NKU will resume
GLVC play Jan. 4 with a road game at Wisconsin-Parkside.