Healy takes the ball strong to the basket against Kelly Dianis
of Lewis. Healy scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds
as NKU knocked off the seventh-ranked Flyers, 73-61.
Ky. - As she usually does in big games, Brittany Winner delivered
yet another clutch performance for Northern Kentucky University
against No. 7 Lewis on Thursday night.
22 points, dished out four assists and collected three steals as
NKU posted a 73-61 victory over Lewis in Regents Hall. The Norse
improved to 16-5 overall, 10-4 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
NKU also ended
Lewis’ 13-game winning streak and extended its own string
of consecutive victories to nine. While it was certainly a team
effort, Winner - known as B-Dubs to teammates and coaches - keyed
great. She’s in that B-Dubs zone," NKU head coach Nancy
Winstel said. "When she’s in that zone like she was last
year down at Bellarmine and against Drury, look out. Tonight she
was in that zone and you could tell.
not unusual to see Brittany play big in a game like this, and we
just beat one of the best teams in the country. She kept us in it
the first half. Then in the second half, I felt like we had more
was named the most valuable player of the GLVC Tournament last season
after scoring 30 points in the championship game against Drury,
did much of the same Thursday. The senior forward poured in 15 points
in the first half and was part of a defensive effort that held Lewis
to 39.3 percent shooting from the field.
NKU began the
second half with a 10-4 run as Winner scored the first five points
of the spurt. The Norse led by as many as 15 points and coasted
to the key regional victory.
Lewis had just
entered the B-Dubs zone, and the Flyers departed Regents Hall with
a loss for the 10th consecutive year.
are certain days you’re just full of energy and you can’t
wait to play. It’s happened to me in games where we needed
it," said Winner, a native of Minster, Ohio. "It's fun
and I wish it would happen every time, but you can’t get that
Winner draws a foul during the second half Thursday night.
Winner scored 22 points and dished out four assists as the
Norse posted the key regional victory.
a graduate of Mount Notre Dame High School, added 14 points, five
rebounds and three blocks. Angela Healy finished with 11 points,
five rebounds and two blocks. With Winner sizzling from the outside,
Lewis had to abandon any thoughts of sagging inside to defend. The
result was plenty of opportunities for the Norse inside attack.
that they were going to play a sagging man-to-man, so it was very
important for us to hit some of those outside shots," Winner
said. "It worked out well for us to shoot outside early and
then at halftime, coach was saying we need to get our inside game
going. I think we did that."
finished with nine points, seven rebounds and two assists, while
Nicole Chiodi added eight points, five assists and a team-leading
the team played great, and I thought our seniors performed well,"
Winstel said. "Karyn Creager played well and had two huge rebounds
and backdoor plays when we needed them. It was a great win against
a heck of a good team. They’re very, very good.”
NKU won the
rebounding battle by a 38-33 margin and committed just nine turnovers.
Darcee Schmidt led Lewis (19-3, 12-2 GLVC) with 20 points and nine
rebounds. Mary Moskal added 15 points and five assists for the Flyers,
who were the last team to beat NKU (75-64 on Jan. 6).
The Norse held
Schmidt - the probable GLVC Player of the Year - to six points in
the second half. Moskal, last season's GLVC Player of the Year,
was held to 4-for-12 shooting from the field.
A month ago,
Schmidt and Moskal combined for 55 points during a 75-64 win over
NKU at Romeoville, Ill. Schmidt poured in 32 points on 13-of-22
shooting from the field in that game. Moskal finished with 23 points
against NKU in the first meeting, but the Norse defense contained
both players more effectively in the rematch.
to play behind (Schmidt) because when we played in front of her,
she was getting the ball and scoring on us," Brannen said of
NKU's second-half adjustments Thursday.
Lewis is ranked
No. 1 in the NCAA II Great Lakes Region poll, and NKU is No. 5.
Rankings aside, though, Winstel said it was crucial for her team
to play well at home during the next week.
Chiodi drives to the basket Thursday night against Lewis.
Chiodi finished with nine rebounds and five assists.
to win at home against some pretty good teams early in the season.
Tonight was huge for us because we’re starting a homestand
of some big, big games," Winstel said. "We lost some early,
and I think in some strange way, that has made us stronger as a
group. I think maybe we appreciate what we have to do to win.
we almost appreciate the process. What a special team this is. I’m
really proud for them and really happy for them, too."
In other words,
NKU is again making a late-season run. And no one can really explain
why a team struggles for a while, then begins rolling. The answer
isn't even found in the B-Dubs zone.
a lot of us have such high expectations because we have, basically,
the same team as last year. You think you're ready to take off,
but you know it’s not always like that," said Winner,
whose team was picked to win the GLVC East in the preseason poll.
"We started off with some good wins, but in the middle of the
season, we kind of hit a funk. I can’t really explain it.
not done yet. We’re going to keep getting better and it’s
going to keep building."
NKU plays host
to Wisconsin-Parkside at 1 p.m. Saturday. Earlier this season, the
Norse dropped a 66-57 decision to the Rangers at Kenosha, Wis.
The Norse conclude
their home schedule next week with games against Bellarmine (Tuesday
at 5:30 p.m.) and Kentucky Wesleyan (Thursday at 5:30 p.m.).
Prior to the
game against Kentucky Wesleyan, NKU will recognize its five senior
players - Winner, Creager, Betsey Clark, Katie Butler and Karmen
Graham - and their families.