Winner goes to the basket during the second half of NKU’s
62-54 victory over Indianapolis. Winner scored 17 of her 21
points in the second half to rally the Norse to their fifth
Ky. - Less than two minutes into the second half Thursday night,
Northern Kentucky University's four-game winning streak appeared
to be toast.
owned a 38-28 lead, was battering NKU on the boards and looked to
be in control. That, however, is when Brittany Winner took over.
And by the time she was finished, NKU's winning streak had been
extended to five games.
17 of her 21 points in the second half as NKU rallied for a 62-54
victory over Indianapolis in Regents Hall. The 5-foot-10 senior
forward finished 8-for-11 from the field and grabbed six rebounds
as NKU won its fifth consecutive game.
Brittany Winner made a concerted effort to get more aggressive offensively
in the second half, because in the first half she really wasn’t,"
NKU head coach Nancy Winstel said. "When she did, it just lifted
the whole team."
Keyed by Winner,
NKU used a 21-2 run to take a 49-40 advantage with 9:41 left. She
began the spurt by making a pair of free throws, and Karyn Creager
followed by a conventional three-point play.
employing a 3-2 zone defense, Winner capped the big run by draining
back-to-back 3-pointers to give NKU a 49-40 lead. Those shots also
sapped the energy out of Indianapolis.
at halftime coach said that we were 0-for-6 on our 3-point attempts,
but that wasn’t really on my mind," Winner said of her
treys. "I just had an open look, and they were sagging off
into the zone, so you had to take it."
that I noticed was that we got a couple of fast breaks on them because
they weren’t getting back in transition. That kind of sparked
our energy," added Winner, who provided plenty of late-game
heroics for NKU last season. "Then we just kept on taking it
to them and giving them that inside-outside look.
end of the first half, I felt that we were just kind of throwing
up shots without moving the ball inside. In
the second half, we got it in more and worked the ball around, and
then we had some good looks. I think that’s what turned it
with 13 points for NKU, which improved to 12-5 overall, 6-4 in the
Great Lakes Valley Conference. Angela Healy added 10 points, seven
rebounds and three steals. Katie Butler added eight points off the
bench for the Norse, who shot 48 percent from the field.
Brannen attempts a jumper against Indianapolis. Brannen led
NKU with three blocked shots Thursday.
Creager's second-half defense on Indianapolis guard Mandy Geryak,
who pumped in 13 points before the break. In the second half, Geryak
scored just six and finished with 19 points.
did a nice job defending her in the second half. She really made
her work," Winstel said.
netted 10 points before halftime, did the job as a defender after
such a quick release, and she hit two right away in the first half,"
Creager said of Geryak, a transfer from Xavier. "So in the
second half, I was just trying to be all over her because they were
setting a lot of screens for her. She’s a good player and
takes it to the hole pretty nicely."
In the first
half, NKU shot 52.2 percent from the field, but Indianapolis grabbed
10 offensive rebounds and held a 21-9 edge on the glass to take
a 34-28 lead at the break.
they just hustled the heck out of us," Winstel said. "You
have got to give those kids a lot of credit because they played
with a lot of hustle. We finally played a good second half. I told
our kids that if we didn’t play better in the second half,
we were going to get beat by 15 or 20. To their credit, they did."
finished with a 39-31 advantage on the boards as Karla Mast pulled
down 11 rebounds. The Greyhounds, however, were just 5-for-28 from
the field in the second half and could not find an answer to Winner.
added seven rebounds and a game-high five assists for NKU. The Norse
blocked nine shots, led by Cassie Brannen with three rejections.
Winner - who
passed 800 career points as a college player - added two blocks
and had two assists. The Minster, Ohio, native, who played at Division
I Elon (N.C.) for a season before transferring to NKU, has a total
of 805 career points.
In last season's
GLVC Tournament championship game against Drury, Winner poured in
a career-high 30 points to lead NKU to the title. She was also named
the most valuable player of the GLVC Tournament.
NKU will play
host to Saint Joseph’s at 5:30 p.m. Saturday as part of the
2007 Homecoming. The Norse are ranked sixth in the NCAA Division
II Great Lakes Region poll.