---Karmen Graham scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds as NKU posted a 61-54 win at Kentucky Wesleyan.

OWENSBORO, Ky. - In a must-win situation Thursday night, Northern Kentucky University showed it's still a factor in the Great Lakes Valley Conference by posting a 61-54 victory over Kentucky Wesleyan.

The Norse dominated the rebounding, hit key free throws late in the game and made big plays the entire evening. NKU improved to 10-5 overall, 4-4 in the GLVC. It marked the first road win of the season for NKU, which is now 1-3 against teams in the GLVC East Division.

Karyn Creager and Karmen Graham each scored 11 points to lead the Norse. Angela Healy added 10 points and nine rebounds for NKU.

"We've been talking defense all week. Our game plan was to do some things to defend Kentucky Wesleyan a certain way, and our players made it work with their intensity," NKU head coach Nancy Winstel said. "They were really focused, and I can't say enough good things about our players. Our guard play was really solid, and Graham battled inside and made some big free throws.

"Healy made some big plays for us in the second half, and Nicole Chiodi hit two huge free throws in the final minute when Wesleyan was making a comeback. We kept our poise, and this is a huge win."

Creager, a senior guard from Leipsic, Ohio, added two blocked shots and four rebounds. She now has 905 career points at NKU and is looking to become the 23rd player in Norse women's basketball history to reach 1,000 points.

Graham, who joined NKU's 1,000-point club last week, grabbed five rebounds and was 7-for-8 from the free-throw line. The Norse built a 30-16 halftime lead by holding Kentucky Wesleyan (12-4, 5-3 GLVC) to 19.2 percent shooting from the field.

The Panthers rallied in the second half behind the 3-point shooting of Laura McClintic (22 points), but NKU made 93.8 percent of its free throws (15-for-16) to hold on for the road victory. NKU also used a 43-30 rebounding advantage to key the victory.

"The stat I like is the rebounding advantage we had in this game," Winstel said. "We did an outstanding job of keeping them off the boards."

Cassie Brannen scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds for NKU, while teammate Brittany Winner added eight points and six rebounds. The Norse lead the all-time series with Kentucky Wesleyan, 45-4.

NKU wraps up the road trip Saturday with a 2 p.m. game at Southern Indiana. The Eagles (11-5 overall, 5-3 GLVC) lost to Bellarmine, 68-61, Thursday night at Evansville, Ind.