Graham scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds during NKU’s
52-49 win at Drury on Thursday night.
Mo. - In terms of winning streaks, something had to give Thursday
night when Northern Kentucky University clashed with powerful Drury.
And in front
of a raucous crowd of 1,573 in Weiser Gym, a venue in which Drury
rarely suffers a loss, NKU overcame that mystique and its own free-throw
shooting woes late in the game to post a 52-49 victory. The Norse
built a 12-point lead in the second half and survived a furious
Drury rally to extend its winning streak to seven and halt the Lady
Panthers' current string of victories at five.
and Cassie Brannen combined for 24 points and 12 rebounds to lead
NKU. Graham finished with 13 points and five rebounds as the Norse
became the first Great Lakes Valley Conference team to defeat Drury
in Weiser Gym.
Cassie Brannen was great for us on both ends of the floor, and Karmen
Graham came in and played one of her best games of the season,"
NKU head coach Nancy Winstel said. "We did miss some free throws,
but we are nine hours away from home, and I will take a win over
a very good Drury team on this court any day.
really tough to beat in this gym, but our players made stops defensively
when we had to, and that's why we won."
Drury was 14-0 all-time against GLVC opponents on its home floor
during regular-season play. The Lady Panthers were 9-0 last season
against GLVC foes and were 5-0 going into Thursday's showdown.
Brannen, a Mount
Notre Dame High School graduate, added 11 points and seven rebounds.
The 6-foot-1 sophomore also finished with four blocked shots and
a steal in 30 minutes of action.
NKU built a
30-25 lead at halftime by holding Drury to 33.3 percent shooting
from the field. The Norse used a 9-3 run to begin the second half
and took a 39-28 lead when Karyn Creager drained a 3-pointer with
15:33 remaining in the game.
with 7:08 remaining gave NKU a 49-37 lead, but Drury used a 12-2
run to slice the advantage to 51-49 with 39 seconds left. The Norse
contributed to Drury's rally by missing three straight front ends
of the one-and-one in the final minute.
made a free throw with 4.9 seconds remaining to extend NKU's lead
to 52-49, and Molly Carter's 3-point attempt at the buzzer fell
short to seal the win for the Norse.
nine points for NKU, while Winner finished with seven points, six
rebounds and three assists. Creager now has 943 career points at
scored 16 points for Drury, which fell to 14-6 overall, 8-4 in the
GLVC. The Lady Panthers suffered through a 1-for-19 shooting night
from behind the 3-point line - the first time all season they failed
to hit at least five treys in a home game - and were outrebounded
45-33 by the taller Norse.
a lot of their 3-point shots, and we made some humongous stops in
the final minute because we could not hit a free throw," Winstel
said. "Karyn Creager's length bothered (Carter) on that last
shot, and Betsey Clark really played well for us on the perimeter
and made big plays as well."
the road trip Saturday with a 2 p.m. game at Rockhurst. The Norse
are ninth in this week's NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region poll,
and Drury is sixth.