Brannen powers up a shot against Missouri-Rolla during NKU’s
67-52 win Friday. Brannen scored 14 points and grabbed 10
rebounds as the Norse advanced to the GLVC Tournament semifinals.
Ind. - The inside attack of Northern Kentucky University made Missouri-Rolla's
stay in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament short and sour
NKU sent Missouri-Rolla
packing with a 67-52 first-round victory in Roberts Stadium. The
Norse continually pounded the ball inside to post players Angela
Healy (23 points) and Cassie Brannen (14 points) and cruised past
the Lady Miners into the GLVC Tournament semifinals.
Healy, a 6-foot-1
junior center, shot 8-for-12 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds.
The Highlands High School graduate also blocked three shots and
finished with two assists.
our plan to try and get the ball inside, and today our guards made
some really good passes," said Healy, who was named to the
All-GLVC second team this season. "A couple of their post players
were in foul trouble early, and our guards were looking hard inside."
Healy, in fact,
made her first five shots from the field as NKU built a 16-9 lead.
The Norse (21-6 overall record) started the game 7-for-9 from the
field behind the play of Healy and Brannen.
carried us in November and December when we were struggling, and
she is starting to play like that again," NKU head coach Nancy
Winstel said. "She understands how to get open, how to finish,
and she is also a great free-throw shooter if you foul her. Angela
and Cassie both played well in this game, and we did a good job
of getting them the ball in position to score."
(17-11) battled back and cut the NKU lead to 18-17 on a basket by
Katie Bunge. The Norse scored the next eight points to extend their
advantage to 26-17 with 4:54 left before halftime. Brannen capped
the NKU run by powering in for a basket while being fouled. She
converted the free throw to give the Norse a nine-point lead.
hit a jumper just before the half ended to give NKU a 34-25 lead.
The Lady Miners pulled to within five points twice early in the
second half, but NKU used a 7-0 run to stretch its lead to 43-31
when Katie Butler buried a 3-pointer.
Butler, a 6-1
senior forward, finished with eight points and three blocked shots.
With starting forward Brittany Winner in first-half foul trouble,
Winstel turned to both Butler and senior guard Betsey Clark to fill
the void of her team's leading scorer.
Katie Butler drives past Nicole Dierking during Friday’s
GLVC Tournament. Butler scored eight points and blocked three
shots to help NKU defeat Missouri-Rolla, 67-52, and advance
to the semifinals.
gave us some very good minutes after Brittany picked up the two
early fouls, and they had a tough defensive assignment guarding
No. 23 (Nicole Dierking), because she is a very good player,"
Winstel said. "Katie Butler did a heck of a job in this game.
We have been looking at using her on the perimeter because of her
ability to shoot the 3-pointer. Katie made a big contribution in
this win, and I thought she and Betsey were outstanding."
Nicole Chiodi each added nine points for NKU, which shot 53.1 percent
from the field. Brannen hauled down a game-high 10 rebounds and
added two blocks, bringing her school-record season total to 69
Bunge led Missouri-Rolla
with 16 points. The Lady Miners, who entered the GLVC Tournament
on a roll after picking up road wins at Southern Illinois at Edwardsville
and Quincy last week, made just 33.9 percent of their shots from
is in the GLVC Tournament semifinals.
time, and everyone is excited about being here," said Healy,
who helped NKU claim the GLVC title last season. "We're confident,
but not cocky, and we just want to defend our championship."
The Norse will
meet Drury - which defeated Kentucky Wesleyan, 74-63, Friday night
in a first-round game - at 8:30 p.m. (CST) Saturday. Lewis and Bellarmine
will meet in the other semifinal game at 6 p.m.
game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Pairings for the NCAA Division
II Tournament will be announced Sunday night, and NKU is expected
to receive a berth in the Great Lakes Regional.
The Norse are
No. 3 in the latest regional poll. Lewis is the No. 1 seed in the
latest regional poll and is expected to be the host for the Great
Lakes Region Tournament, which will be played March 9, 10 and 12.