CHAMPS! : NKU celebrates after its 60-52 win against
Missouri S&T in the championship game of the Great Lakes
Regional. The Norse earned their fifth trip to the Elite Eight
in the past 10 years and will meet Wingate (N.C.) on March
26 at Kearney, Neb.
Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University women’s basketball
team begins play at the NCAA Division II Elite Eight next Wednesday
(March 26) against Wingate (N.C.) at 3:30 p.m. (Eastern time) in
survivor will meet the Alaska-Anchorage/Franklin Pierce winner at
8 p.m. Thursday. The national championship game is scheduled for
6 p.m. Saturday.
All NKU games
will be broadcast live on WIOK (107.5 FM) and the Internet at www.nkunorse.com.
For ticket and
hotel information, go to the NCAA Division II Web site at http://www.lopers.com/08_NCAA_Elite8/default.htm.
NKU enters the
NCAA Division II Elite Eight with a 25-8 record after capturing
the Great Lakes Region championship. The Norse were the No. 4 seed
in the Great Lakes Region and defeated No. 5 seed Indianapolis (55-54),
top-seeded Drury (84-65) and No. 3 seed Missouri S&T (60-52)
to capture the regional championship at Springfield, Mo.
It marked the
fifth regional championship in the past 10 years for NKU, which
also collected titles in 1999, 2000, '02 and '03. The Norse captured
the 2000 NCAA Division II national championship at Pine Bluff, Ark.,
by defeating North Dakota State. NKU advanced to the national championship
game in 2003 at St. Joseph, Mo., before losing to South Dakota State.
NKU has won
seven of its past eight games, with the only loss being a 71-67
setback at Drury on March 9 in the championship game of the Great
Lakes Valley Conference Tournament.
CASSIE: NKU’s Cassie Brannen was named the most outstanding
player of the Great Lakes Region Tournament. Brannen scored a game-high
25 points on 8-for-9 shooting from the field. She also converted
all eight of her free-throw attempts and grabbed five rebounds.
Two nights earlier,
the 6-foot-1 junior post player poured in 29 points against top-seeded
Drury. Brannen, a graduate of Mount Notre Dame High School in Cincinnati,
is NKU’s all-time career leader in blocked shots with 166.
She averages 13.5 points per game and leads the GLVC in field-goal
percentage (.562) and blocked shots (2.09 bpg).
OUTSTANDING ! : NKU’s Cassie Brannen (31) is
congratulated by head coach Nancy Winstel (left) and Angela
Healy (right) after being named the Great Lakes Regional’s
most outstanding player. Brannen averaged 27 points in the
final two games of the event.
blocked an NKU single-game record 12 shots against Indianapolis
last season, enters the Elite Eight with 914 career points. She
is looking to become the 25th member of NKU’s 1,000-point
club. Brannen has scored in double figures 28 times this season
with two double-doubles.
OF SLACK: NKU junior guard Jessie Slack earned all-tournament
honors at the Great Lakes Regional after scoring 12 points against
Missouri S&T. Slack, from Mt. Perry, Ohio, and a graduate of
Sheridan High School, averages 13.2 ppg and has made a team-leading
60 3-point field goals this season.
to NKU during the summer after playing her first two seasons at
Division I East Carolina. While at East Carolina, Slack started
22 games as a sophomore and averaged 6.7 points as the Pirates captured
the Conference USA championship. She also set a single-season record
at East Carolina by making 84 percent of her free throws last year.
NUMBERS: NKU senior center Angela Healy enters the Elite
Eight averaging a team-leading 14.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per
game. She also earned All-GLVC first team and All-Great Lakes Region
honors this season.
ranks 17th on the NKU all-time scoring list with 1,222 career points.
She is also No. 2 all-time in blocked shots with 136, trailing teammate
Cassie Brannen. Healy has also collected 15 double-doubles this
KEYS REGIONAL TITLE: NKU senior point guard Nicole Chiodi
grabbed 23 rebounds (7.7 per contest) during the three Great Lakes
Region Tournament games. Chiodi scored 11 points, grabbed seven
rebounds and dished out four assists in the Norse’s 84-65
win over Drury in the semifinals.
Central Catholic High School graduate enters the Elite Eight with
344 career assists. She averages 9.1 ppg and 6.6 rebounds this season.
WINGATE: The Lady Bulldogs are 26-7 after capturing the
South Atlantic Region championship. Wingate defeated Clayton State
(Ga.) 82-72 in the regional championship game. Kate Edwards led
the Wingate with 22 points and eight rebounds against Clayton State.
guard Anna Atkinson was named the most outstanding player of the
South Atlantic Regional Tournament. Atkinson leads the team in scoring
at 14.8 ppg. Edwards, a senior guard, has connected on 86 3-pointers
this season and averages 11.9 ppg. NKU and Wingate have never met
in women’s basketball.
LAST TIME IN THE ELITE EIGHT: In March 2003, NKU arrived
at St. Joseph, Mo., as Great Lakes Region champion after knocking
off Grand Valley State, top-seeded Indianapolis and Quincy. The
Norse faced Washburn in the national quarterfinals on March 26 and
posted a 65-53 win over the Lady Blues in the St. Joseph Civic Center.
The next evening,
NKU defeated No. 1 California (Pa.), 45-43. Kristin Polosky made
a pair of free throws with 1:53 remaining in the game to snap a
43-all tie, and NKU’s defense held strong to notch the victory.
On March 29,
South Dakota State defeated NKU in the national championship game,
65-50. South Dakota State, the preseason pick by many to win the
2003 national title, finished with a 32-3 record.
closed the 2002-03 season with a 26-8 record after its improbable
run to the national title contest. The Norse entered the NCAA Tournament
as the No. 5 seed in the Great Lakes Regional.
GAINS FOR NKU
take turns cutting down the net after defeating Missouri S&T
for the regional title. Jessica Wendeln and Angela Healy (42)
are pictured at the left.
below in the second frames are Karen Brackman (left) and Kendra
in the bottom frames are Jessie Slack (left) and Danyelle
by Tim Downer, NKU Sports Information)