Creager scored 18 points Tuesday
Ky. - The first four letters of her last name tell the whole story,
and another chapter in Nancy Winstel's Northern Kentucky University
coaching career was added Tuesday night.
the first basketball coach in NKU history to reach the 500-win plateau
after her Norse annihilated Midway (Ky.), 98-42, in Regents Hall.
Now in her 24th season as NKU's head coach, Winstel is 500-168 on
the Norse sideline and 539-209 overall.
39 wins on Winstel's resume were recorded at the very same Midway
(Ky.) back in the 1970s.
didn’t plan it that way," Winstel said of her 500th NKU
victory coming at the expense of her former employer. "I think
that sometimes things just happen for a reason, and I guess it just
happened for me. It is kind of strange."
proud to have coached at Midway," she continued. "I started
my career there, and I coached for three years. It’s just
a wonderful experience for a young coach who had nothing. I was
the chief, the cook and the bottle washer. I was the head coach.
I was the assistant. I was the trainer. I think it helped me learn
the value of hard work."
NKU (1-0) taught
Midway a few things about sizzling shooting from the field to open
the game. The Norse hit their first six shots from the floor, including
four 3-pointers, to open up a 20-4 lead. Karyn Creager started the
onslaught by knocking down a pair of 3-pointers to open the game,
and Katie Butler capped the Norse run by draining a trey from downtown.
NKU, in fact,
connected on 11 of its first 12 shots from the floor.
think we were ever going to miss," said Butler, who scored
14 points, blocked four shots and grabbed five rebounds off the
bench. "I was kind of nervous going in to actually shoot because
I didn’t want to miss and ruin the streak. It was exciting
to see us shoot like that. We’ve been practicing on our outside
shooting, so it was good to open up the season and hit some threes
knowing that we have an inside-outside game this year."
By the time
the first half ended, NKU had cooled off to 70.4 percent from the
field and owned a 55-14 lead over the NAIA visitors. The Norse were
19-for-27 from the field, 6-for-9 from 3-point range and made all
11 of their attempts from the free-throw line during the opening
like everyone was making every shot for us during the first half,"
said Creager, who netted a game-high 18 points. "It was a good
game for coach to get her 500th win."
Butler drives against Midway
13 before halftime, and Butler added 12. Nicole Chiodi made all
four of her field-goal attempts in the first half and added nine
of her 13 points by intermission. NKU also held Midway (3-6) to
16.7 percent from the floor in the first half.
we came out and played hard. I thought we played well. We needed
to play someone else instead of having to look at each other,"
Winstel said. "I thought our energy was really good."
All 11 NKU players
who saw action scored Tuesday night. Sophomore guard Danyelle Echoles
netted a career-high 11 points and dished out five assists for the
Norse, who finished with 26 assists as a team. Sophomore guard Karen
Brackman added eight points, six rebounds and three assists for
NKU, while sophomore post player Cassie Brannen blocked three shots,
grabbed seven rebounds and scored seven points.
nine blocks and finished with a 42-26 advantage in rebounding. The
Norse made 87.5 percent of their free throws for the game and forced
Midway into 22 turnovers.
a good game for all of us, and it was exciting to get our first
game in since everyone has played but us," said Butler, who
led NKU in scoring during its two exhibition games. "Everyone
on the team scored and played a lot of minutes. It was great to
see coach get her 500th win, so it was really exciting."
excited about getting her 500th win, but she really liked the fact
played quality minutes and succeeded, and as a coach you really
do want to play everybody all the time and this may be the only
time I get to do it," she said. "Every player on our team
works hard. Every player wants to do well, and it’s nice to
see that they were able to do that tonight."
NKU will return
to action Saturday when Wayne (Mich.) State visits Regents Hall
at 1 p.m. The Norse are ranked 15th nationally in the Division II