Brannen (right) battles Jennifer Martin in the lane during
NKU’s 67-44 win on Saturday. Brannen blocked a team-leading
five shots and scored 10 points. Martin also blocked five
shots for Missouri-St. Louis, but the NKU defense forced the
standout center into a 4-for-11 shooting performance.
Ky. - Northern Kentucky University hosted a block party Saturday
afternoon in Regents Hall and gave Missouri-St Louis plenty of reasons
to feel rejected.
In fact, 10
rejections, to be exact.
with 10 blocked shots, held Missouri-St. Louis to 29.8 percent shooting
from the field and rolled to a 67-44 win over the visiting Riverwomen.
The Norse did not allow the visitors to make a shot from 3-point
range (0-for-6) and improved to 9-5 overall, 3-4 in the Great Lakes
player Cassie Brannen did most of the swatting for NKU and finished
with five blocks. Brannen's defensive efforts, which contributed
to Missouri-St. Louis standout Jennifer Martin's 4-for-11 shooting
performance from the field, helped the Norse go 2-0 this week in
two crucial home games.
Martin, a 6-foot-1
center, finished with five blocked shots herself, but it was not
enough to keep the Riverwomen afloat Saturday.
Katie Butler combined for 21 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocked
shots to lead NKU. Butler finished with 11 points, seven rebounds
and two blocks for the Norse. Brannen added 10 points and seven
rebounds to her five blocks.
The 10 blocks
were two shy of the NKU record of 12, set on March 1, 2003, at Lewis.
Defense, as it has for years under head coach Nancy Winstel, keyed
the win against Missouri-St. Louis.
is getting better, and our confidence is getting better as well,"
Winstel said. "I think that Cassie Brannen’s play the
last couple of games was solid. Angela Healy, who has been carrying
us all year and who had struggled in the last couple of games, was
better today as well.
good, solid defense. We try to run our stuff on offense. We move
the ball. We’re aggressive. We’re inside-outside, and
we try to take care of the ball. That’s NKU. That’s
the way I’ve coached forever, and that’s the way we’re
going to play. They can even bury me saying that."
Nicole Chiodi scored 12 points and dished out five assists for NKU,
which led the entire game. The Newport Central Catholic graduate
also had two steals in 36 minutes on the court.
Nicole played today like she had been playing earlier in the season,"
Winstel said. "She just looked like she had that little extra
hop in her step. She’s aggressive, and her play today was
really nice to see."
Louis began the game by attempting to press and trap NKU. Chiodi
and her teammates had little trouble attacking the pressure, but
they were surprised to see it.
it when they throw it at me. I was kind of surprised when they came
out in it," Chiodi said of the Missouri-St. Louis pressure.
"We like it because we can attack it."
Butler challenges Missouri-St. Louis defender Jennifer Dewell
in the second half. Butler scored 11 points in the NKU victory.
NKU led by as
many as 14 points in the first half before settling for a 30-19
advantage at the break. Brannen netted eight points during the first
half, and Brittany Winner scored seven before the break. NKU did
commit 12 first-half turnovers or the game might have been over
in the first half we were trying a little too hard," Winner
said of the first-half turnovers. "In the second half, we were
moving the ball and executing. Once you move the ball, things start
opening up for everybody."
Healy scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds for NKU, which
shot 47.8 percent from the field and 82.6 percent from the free-throw
line. Karmen Graham added six points and three rebounds as the Norse
upped their lead to 15-2 in the all-time series with Missouri-St.
against Missouri-St. Louis and Missouri-Rolla (72-51 on Thursday)
this week also proved NKU is not ready to concede anything as far
as the GLVC is concerned.
playing at home, and they were both good teams," Winner said.
"We knew that they weren’t going to give it to us, so
for us to come in here and to have two good, solid wins in which
everyone executed, ran our stuff and made passes to where they needed
to be made, was big."
think that we’re ready to go back on the road and show people
that we’re not done," Winner added for anyone who might
have doubted that NKU would regroup after losing four straight GLVC
games, "but we’re back and ready to go."
NKU will visit
Owensboro, Ky., on Thursday for a GLVC clash with Kentucky Wesleyan,
which romped past Southern Illinois at Edwardsville by a 95-78 score
on Saturday. The Panthers (12-3 overall, 5-2 GLVC) have become legitimate
GLVC contenders this season and feature a roster loaded with talent
Two days later,
NKU will face Southern Indiana at Evansville, Ind. The Eagles are
also vastly improved this season and always difficult to beat in
the PAC Arena. It is possibly the toughest road trip of the season
facing NKU, and the Norse are 0-3 against GLVC teams as the visitor
go on the road, you have to have an attitude about you, and I’m
not sure we have that," Winstel said, "but I have it."