Healy takes the ball to the basket against Bellarmine’s
Katie Willinger (42) in the second half of NKU’s 72-59
win Saturday night. Healy scored 15 points, grabbed eight
rebounds and blocked three shots.
Ramstetter, NKU Sports Information
Ky. - The most intense women’s basketball rivalry in the Great
Lakes Valley Conference lived up to expectations Saturday night
when Bellarmine visited Northern Kentucky University.
The two teams
entered Saturday as part of a three-way tie for first place in the
GLVC East Division standings with Indianapolis. But, after posting
a 72-59 win over Bellarmine, NKU now shares the GLVC East lead with
scored 12 points, grabbed nine rebounds, dished out four assists
and blocked six shots to lead NKU. Brannen, a junior post player
and a Mount Notre Dame High School graduate, set the NKU record
for blocked shots with her third rejection of the game - the 133rd
of her career - on Bellarmine’s first possession of the second
the contest with 130 blocked shots. Janet Brungs held the previous
NKU record of 132.
know for sure what the record was, but my whole family knew, so
they informed me,” Brannen said. “I had a big crowd
here tonight, about 20 people from my family. They were yelling
and screaming, so it was just a great feeling, and everyone from
last year’s team was here as well. Being able to do it in
a big game like this made it even better.”
scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Norse, who improved
16-5 overall, 9-4 in the GLVC. Indianapolis beat Southern Indiana
63-56 Saturday to remain tied with NKU atop the GLVC East.
added 13 points for NKU, while teammate Nicole Chiodi recorded her
first double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Danyelle Echoles scored 11 points for the Norse. All five Norse
starters scored in doubles figures and NKU dished out 18 assists
as a team.
we all did very well,” Brannen said. “We all contributed
what we are capable of doing. We should be able to do that every
game, and it just shows how great of an inside-outside game we have
when we’re all on.”
Chiodi hit a
layup with 1:40 left in the game to give the Norse their biggest
lead of the game at 70-53 to seal her first double-double of the
season with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
went out there and did what I could for the team,” said Chiodi,
a senior point guard from Newport Central Catholic High School.
“I thought we all played very well tonight. The assists we
had as a team were awesome tonight for a lot of people. We all played
really hard and we kept moving the ball so I thought that was the
biggest key to the game tonight – us playing together as a
the Knights’ Angela Smith to 10 points, six below her average.
Smith finished 3-for-9 from the field and did not reach double figures
until less than two minutes remained in the game.
playing (Smith) more for the three than the drive to the basket,”
Echoles said. “She drives really well, so it was harder because
of the way we were playing her, but I think I did a fairly good
Cassie Brannen attempts a jumper against Bellarmine on Saturday.
Brannen became the Norse’s all-time career leader in
blocked shots early in the second half and now has 136 rejections.
player Kendra Caldwell scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds
off the bench for NKU and continues to get quality minutes in the
front-line rotation along with starters Brannen and Healy.
only going to help her,” head coach Nancy Winstel said. “At
the beginning of the year, to be honest with you, she really couldn’t
help us. She wasn’t in a position to help us because she wasn’t
physically, mentally, or emotionally ready to help us. She has come
a really long way in just a few months.
her and it is great that she was able to step up and give us some
key minutes in key games because if not, we’ve got to go smaller
and when you play teams with as good inside players as Bellarmine
has, it’s tough for you to go smaller due to the fact that
they’re going to pound it inside at you.”
Slack hit a
3-pointer from the wing with under five seconds remaining before
halftime to reclaim the lead for the Norse at the break, 34-32,
and NKU led the rest of the game. The Norse led by as many as 11
in the first half after a 10-1 run starting at the 10:20 mark. The
Knights had fought back to take a 32-31 lead on Trisha Bennett’s
jumper with a minute left.
Slack led the
Norse with 10 first-half points and three assists, while Healy added
seven points before heading to the bench with two fouls.
NKU shot 47.5
percent from the field, and Bellarmine shot just 36.4 percent. The
Knights were held to 28.6 percent shooting in the second half after
shooting 44.4 percent in the opening 20 minutes.
led Bellarmine (16-8 overall, 8-5 GLVC) with 13 points.
NKU will host
Saint Joseph’s on Thursday at 5:30 p.m., and the Norse meet
Indianapolis next Saturday at 4:30 p.m. in the final women’s
basketball game ever inside Regents Hall. The game will likely be
a battle for first place in the GLVC East, and the Norse don’t
think they’ve even begun to play their very best basketball.
yet,” Chiodi said. “I don’t think so. I think
that’s good because we’re not done yet. I think it will
come, but it was pretty close tonight.”
second half, we sustained some things and I also thought we had
some key people step up and play some big minutes for us,”
Winstel said. “Cassie Brannen played almost the entire game,
Danyelle Echoles was big offensively and defensively, and Kendra
Caldwell, I thought, really played well in addition to Jessie, Angela,
and Nicole. Everybody that played contributed in a big way.”
As part of the
WBCA’s “Think Pink” cancer awareness program,
NKU will have a “Hoops for Hope” pack-the-gym promotion
Thursday against Saint Joseph’s. Everyone is encouraged to
wear pink that evening in Regents Hall, and donations will go to
Avon's Breast Cancer Crusade Foundation.
going to be a lot of fun and it’s going to be very emotional,"
Winstel said of next week. "Thursday night, we have Hoops for
Hope, it’s Valentine’s Day, and it’s going to
be special because it’s something near and dear to my heart,
which is breast cancer awareness. We hope we can pack the gym.
"Then, of course, next Saturday is going to be Retro Night.
It is going to be a lot of fun and it is going to be a huge game
for us because Indianapolis is going to come in here ready to play.
They’re awfully good and we beat them at their place so it
is going to be a very special time next Thursday and Saturday."
ON TV SUNDAY NIGHT: Sunday night at 11:30 p.m., NKU head
coaches Nancy Winstel and Dave Bezold will be guests on Channel
9’s Sports of All Sorts. Be sure to tune in as Channel 9 sports
director John Popovich discusses the history of Regents Hall and
looks ahead to the opening of The Bank of Kentucky Center with Winstel