guard Isabell Rhenwrick (11) attempts a driving layup in the
closing seconds Friday night against Cassie Brannen (center)
and Angela Healy (42). The shot missed and was rebounded by
Healy to preserve NKU’s 55-54 win.
FOR PHOTO GALLERY
Mo. - As it does many times in college basketball, the third time
proved to be a charm for the University of Indianapolis women Friday
night. For one half, at least.
The second half,
though, belonged to Northern Kentucky University. And the charm
of the opening half turned into a familiar curse for Indianapolis
during the final 20 minutes.
from a 15-point deficit in the second half and held on for a 55-54
victory over Indianapolis in the first round of the NCAA Division
II Great Lakes Region Tournament in Weiser Gym. The fourth-seeded
Norse stormed back with a 35-15 run after falling behind by a 35-20
score early in the second half.
to 23-8 and advanced to meet top-seeded Drury in the regional semifinals
Saturday at 9:30 p.m. Indianapolis, which dropped a pair of games
to NKU during the regular season, finished with a 22-8 record.
It marked the
eighth consecutive time NKU has beaten Indianapolis. The Greyhounds
had not defeated the Norse since Dec. 2, 2004, when Indianapolis
posted a 61-58 win over NKU.
jumped out to a 26-10 lead in the first half and appeared on the
way to snapping its streak of losses against NKU. The Norse made
just 21.7 percent of their shots from the field in the first half
and trailed 33-20 at the break.
seemed to make every shot early in the game, and I did not think
we were playing defense at a high level," NKU head coach Nancy
Winstel said. "We talked about it at halftime, and I told the
players that a 13-point deficit isn't impossible to overcome. We
were lethargic in the first half, and Indianapolis made us pay by
jumping all over us. They are an excellent team, and Jessica Canary
really made some great shots for them.
also thought we did not fold and hung tough. That allowed us to
make some adjustments, and we made our run in the second half."
scored the first basket of the second half to take a 35-20 lead,
and that's when NKU responded in big-time fashion. Angela Healy
keyed an 11-2 run with seven points as the Norse crept back to within
six points (37-31) with 14:59 left on the clock.
Brannen scores in the second half.
holding a 44-36 lead and 9:10 remaining, Danyelle Echoles took over
with her outside shooting. The junior guard from Colerain High School
drained a trio of 3-pointers during the next four minutes. Her final
trey cut the Indianapolis lead to 50-49 with 4:36 left.
needs me to shoot it if I'm open, and I just have to stay confident
with my shot," Echoles said. "That's the kind of mentality
I need to have, and the shots were there against the defense. My
teammates did a great job of finding me open, and the shots felt
NKU capped an
11-0 run with three straight baskets by Jessie Slack, Cassie Brannen
and Healy to take a 55-50 lead with 2:11 remaining. Indianapolis
countered by making four consecutive free throws to pull within
55-54 with 49 seconds left, and the Greyhounds later took possession
after a shot-clock violation by NKU.
had a final chance to win in the closing seconds, but Isabell Rhenwrick
missed a driving layup and Healy grabbed the rebound. Echoles was
fouled and missed the front end of the bonus with 2.4 seconds left,
but she rebounded her own miss and time expired.
18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead NKU, which held Indianapolis
to 5-for-26 shooting (19.2 percent) from the field in the second
half. Brannen added 10 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots,
while Nicole Chiodi scored eight points and grabbed nine rebounds.
with 18 points to lead Indianapolis, while Karla Mast added 11 points
and 11 rebounds.
Next for NKU
is Drury, which posted an 80-70 win over Bellarmine on Friday night.
The Lady Panthers have beaten NKU three consecutive times, including
twice this season. The latest was a 71-67 victory over the Norse
last Sunday in the championship game of the Great Lakes Valley Conference
Tournament in Weiser Gym. A year ago, Drury eliminated NKU from
the GLVC Tournament during the semifinals at Evansville, Ind.