Brannen scores against Wayne State
Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University women's basketball team begins
Great Lakes Valley Conference play Thursday at 5:30 p.m. against
Quincy in Regents Hall.
NKU will also
play host to Southern Illinois at Edwardsville at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Both games can be heard live on the Internet at athletics.nku.edu.
The SIUE game will be televised live on ICN-6 Saturday afternoon.
NKU enters GLVC
play with a 2-0 record after collecting a pair of non-conference
victories over Midway (98-42) and Wayne (Mich.) State (97-56). The
two victories last week extended the Norse's home winning streak
to 11 games. The current streak began with a 74-55 victory over
Loyola (Ill.) on Dec. 22, 2005.
NKU is ranked
10th nationally in the latest Division II poll.
BRUISES OPPOSITION: Cassie Brannen scored a career-high
20 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead NKU past Wayne State.
The sophomore post player was 7-for-8 from the field and made all
six of her attempts from the free-throw line.
The former Mount
Notre Dame High School standout leads the Norse in scoring at 13.5
points per game. Brannen is shooting 81.8 percent from the field
and averages 8.0 rebounds per game. She is also perfect (9-for-9)
from the free-throw line after two games.
KERI GOOD: Sophomore Keri Finnell scored a career-high
12 points against Wayne State. The former Purcell Marian star also
had two assists.
SHOW: NKU combined for 195 points in its first two games
of the season, marking the most prolific two-game scoring span since
the 1992-93 season, when the Norse scored 203 points in back-to-back
wins at Kentucky State (117-46) and at home against Lewis (86-78).
During the win over Wayne State last week, six NKU players scored
in double figures.
DOMINANCE: The Norse have allowed just 30 points combined
in the first half this season. The combined 95 points allowed to
their two opponents is the lowest since Jan. 5-7, 2006, when the
Norse allowed just 90 points combined against Kentucky Wesleyan
(62-47) and Southern Indiana (62-43). NKU is holding its opponents
to 29.6 percent shooting from the field.
Butler averages 12.5 ppg
OMEN: NKU has enjoyed success in early conference play.
Since joining the GLVC in 1985, the Norse are 15-6 in conference
'EM UP: NKU sophomore guard Karen Brackman finished with
11 points, two assists and a steal in 17 minutes of action against
Wayne State. Brackman averages 9.5 ppg and is shooting 63.6 percent
from the field
ON THE MEND: NKU played its first two games without senior
forward Karmen Graham, who is nursing a sore knee and is listed
as day-to-day. Graham was the Norse's leading scorer and rebounder
en route to earning honorable mention All-America accolades last
season. She was also named to the All-GLVC first team and All-Great
SUB: Katie Butler averages 12.5 ppg off the bench for NKU.
The senior forward from Findlay, Ohio, is shooting 61.5 percent
from the field and is tied for team leadership in blocked shots
(4) and steals (4). Butler is also perfect (8-for-8) from the free-throw
line and averages 6.0 rebounds per game.
IN ANY LANGUAGE: NKU senior forward Brittany Winner leads
NKU in assists (4.5 apg), and she is scoring 6.5 ppg. A Spanish
education major, Winner also averages 5.0 rebounds per contest.
QUINCY: The Lady Hawks are 2-1 going into Thursday. Quincy
is led by sophomore guard Jessica Keller, who is averaging 14.7
points and 8.0 rebounds through three contests. Two other Lady Hawks,
Janette Burgin and Alex Wieser, are averaging 12.0 ppg. Quincy defeated
St. Francis (Ill.), 95-74, in its last game.
LAST TIME AGAINST QUINCY: On March 4, 2006, in the semifinals
of the GLVC Tournament, NKU ended Quincy’s two-year reign
as league champion with a 67-49 victory over the Lady Hawks in Roberts
Stadium. NKU held Quincy to just 26.2 percent shooting from the
field and turned the ball over only 11 times against the Lady Hawks’
pressure defense. The Norse gradually wore down Quincy with their
deep bench and sealed the win by shooting 85.7 percent from the
Clark drives against Midway
started off the second half with consecutive baskets to extend the
Norse lead to 31-23. She later took a feed from Brittany Winner
to give NKU its first double-digit advantage at 37-27 with 14:57
remaining. A conventional three-point play by Winner gave NKU a
51-37 lead with 8:23 left, and Brannen powered in for a basket seconds
later to make it 53-37.
The Norse controlled
the remainder of the contest and coasted into the GLVC Tournament
championship game for the first time since 2002.
NKU set a GLVC
Tournament record with 10 blocked shots, as Angela Healy, Cassie
Brannen and Karen Brackman all finished with two rejections. Graham
led the Norse with 18 points and nine rebounds. Winner and Healy
each finished with nine points, while Betsey Clark dished out five
NKU holds an
18-6 edge in the all-time series against Quincy.
LAST TIME AGAINST SIUE: On Feb. 2, 2006, four NKU players
scored in double figures as the Norse posted a 72-55 victory over
SIUE in a game at Edwardsville, Ill.
scored 14 points for NKU, while Nicole Chiodi added 13 points, six
rebounds and five assists.
The Norse shot
60.9 percent from the field in the second half. Angela Healy finished
with 12 points and seven rebounds as NKU coasted to the road victory.