Graham scores in the final minute
Ky. - During the past 10 days, Nancy Winstel has recorded her 500th
career coaching victory at Northern Kentucky University, guided
her Norse to an important regional win over Wayne (Mich.) State
and watched her team vault into the nation’s top 10 in the
Division II poll.
favorite early-season moment probably occurred Thursday night, courtesy
of a come-from-behind 65-63 win over Quincy in Regents Hall. The
10th-ranked Norse improved to 3-0 overall and captured their Great
Lakes Valley Conference opener over a talented Quincy team.
have very easily lost tonight. It seemed like the only time we were
up was at the end of the game, but I’ll take it,” Winstel
said after her team rallied in the closing minutes. “I thought
we made some plays when we had to, and I thought we hung in there.
first 10 minutes of the game I thought we were very flat. Like I
said, it wasn’t pretty, but you’ve got to give Quincy
all the credit in the world.”
a 59-53 lead with two minutes left, but a conventional three-point
play by Katie Butler and a basket by Brittany Winner cut the Lady
Hawks’ advantage to 59-58 with 1:26 remaining. Janette Burgin
made a pair of free throws with 1:06 left to extend the Quincy lead
to 61-58, but Butler drained a 3-point field goal to tie the game
at 61-all with 58 seconds remaining.
she had no problem taking the big shot.
always makes fun of me because I have no hesitation, especially
for a post player,” said Butler, who finished with 12 points.
“Right before we came back out to the floor, Karmen (Graham)
told me ‘If you’re open, you’ve got to shoot it.’
So when she set a screen, I came off it. I knew right when I put
it up that it was going in. It felt perfect.”
made a pair of free throws with 33 seconds left to give Quincy a
63-61 lead, but Graham countered by taking a pass from Butler and
powering in for a basket while being fouled. Graham converted the
ensuing free throw to give NKU a 64-63 lead.
a big basket by Karmen, and a great pass from Katie to set it up,”
After a missed
shot by Burgin with 10 seconds remaining, Nicole Chiodi grabbed
the rebound and was fouled. She converted one free throw to give
the Norse a 65-63 lead. Quincy had a final chance to tie or win,
but Shaquita Crawford committed a turnover with 0.5 seconds left
and NKU escaped with the victory.
defense late in the game was a key. Her steal with 1:28 left set
up Winner’s layup.
Butler made the big plays Thursday
played so well. She stepped up for us when coach got on her about
her defense,” Butler said. “She just knows what’s
going on out there on the floor, and she’s a great point guard.
She always knows what’s going on and where to go with her
passes. She just has like a sixth sense and knows where people are
on the floor.”
NKU shot 56.5
percent from the field in the second half to pull out the victory.
Quincy (2-2, 0-1 GLVC) made just 33.3 percent of its shots the entire
game, but the Lady Hawks pulled down 21 offensive rebounds.
12 points and blocked three shots for NKU, while Graham and Karyn
Creager each added nine points. The Norse collected 10 blocked shots
as a team.
had eight points and four blocks for NKU, and Chiodi finished with
seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Winstel said Butler’s
performance was certainly the key to the comeback.
tell you, Katie has a lot of confidence, and when she gets the ball
and has that gleam in her eye, she can step up big,” Winstel
said. “That was a huge shot she made with us trailing by three,
and she is not afraid to take the big shot. Katie is doing a lot
of things well for us right now, and it’s great to see”
added eight points as NKU defeated its one-time nemesis for the
fourth straight time. The Norse defeated Quincy twice last season
and in their final meeting during the 2004-05 campaign. Before that
Norse victory two years ago, Quincy - featuring All-America forward
and GLVC Player of the Year Jessica Stuckman - had beaten NKU four
is a bunch of fighters. We’re scrappy,” Butler said.
“We told each other that we’re not losing this game.
Not once did we think we were out of this game. We kept saying that
if they were in front of us, we were going to come back and that
we were fine.”
NKU will play
host to unbeaten Southern Illinois at Edwardsville - a 10-point
winner at Bellarmine on Thursday - at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Great Lakes Valley Conference, we found a way to win on a night
where we didn’t play very well. I’m going to take it
and I’m going to try not to complain too much about it,”
Winstel said. “Quincy is well-coached and really does a great
job of running the offense. They get after you on defense, and that
(Burgin) is a terrific player.”