Brannen collects one of her four blocks against Saint Joseph’s
on Thursday. Brannen also led NKU with 20 points as the Norse
posted a 69-39 win. The Norse set a school record with 16
blocks as a team.
Ramstetter, NKU Sports Information
Ky. - Cassie Brannen scored 20 points and blocked four shots as
the Northern Kentucky women’s basketball team cruised past
Saint Joseph’s, 69-39, Thursday night in Regents Hall.
Angela Healy added 15 points and three blocked shots for NKU, which
set a school record with 16 rejections. Karen Brackman added 12
points for the Norse, who have won four straight games to improve
to 17-5 overall, 10-4 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
NKU also maintained
a first-place tie with Indianapolis in the GLVC East Division. The
Greyhounds defeated Bellarmine, 61-58, on Thursday to set up a first-place
showdown at NKU on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
The Norse set
the tone Thursday by blocking eight shots in each half.
want to see good defense,” head coach Nancy Winstel said.
“Personally, I would prefer to see a good denial-post defense
and then if they catch it, then you block well. I like a combination
of denial-post defense, making that offensive player work their
butt off to get the ball, and then if you block it or defend, then
I think that is terrific. You can’t just live with one aspect
of the game, but this team does a masterful job of doing that. So
good for them as long as they’re not fouling.”
became the Norse career leader in blocks last Saturday, led the
Norse with four rejections and now has 140 career swats. Healy and
Nicole Chiodi added three blocks each, while Brackman and Kendra
Caldwell each added two.
it’s really neat that we have a lot of players inside who
block shots, but our outside players were blocking, too,”
Brannen said. “That is an awesome thing to have as a record.
Our guards were playing really good defense. They were able to block
shots just as well as the inside players were.”
Healy led the
Norse with seven rebounds, and Chiodi and Caldwell added six apiece.
Brannen grabbed five boards. The Norse fell behind early in the
first half and trailed 15-13 with just more than 10 minutes to go
before halftime. Healy tied the score with a layup with 10:12 left
and followed with another at the 9:05 mark to put NKU up for good,
our focus wasn’t where it needed to be and I thought Saint
Joseph’s was,” Winstel said of the early struggles.
“Here you have a team in Saint Joe’s that is having
a tough year but they have a lot of pride. They’re going to
come out and get after it. They saw that we had a lot going on here
but we’re excited about it. It was an opportunity for us to
play a lot of players. I didn’t think it was pretty and we
didn’t play all that great. It was just an opportunity to
play a lot of kids and get a 'W' at home.”
NKU closed the
half on a 19-3 run and was never seriously threatened in the second
Saint Joe’s has been struggling this year, and you could just
look at their record and tell that,” Brannen said. “We
knew that, and I don’t think we came out as strong as we usually
do, and they took advantage of it. It wasn’t long before we
knew we had to pick it up, and we did.”
up Saturday's farewell to Regents Hall, the final regular-season
game in the history of the facility.
be special, plus, it’s a huge game,” Winstel said. “So
we have to keep our focus, and maybe tonight helped us know that
on Saturday we can’t get distracted by outside factors. It’s
really a wonderful time for our team, and all that’s going
on, but at the end of the day, you have to be focused on those 40
minutes. And we’re going to need to do that on Saturday."