Brannen scores during the second half of NKU’s 68-56
win against SIUE on Tuesday night. Brannen finished with 14
points, five rebounds and four blocked shots as the Norse
improved to 21-7.
Anderson, NKU Sports Information
Ky. - A typical college basketball game is played over 40 minutes.
On Tuesday night, however, defensive dominance on the part of the
Northern Kentucky University women stopped its opponent’s
production after just 30.
at Edwardsville was held scoreless over the final 10:02 as the Norse
won their Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament quarterfinal
game against the Cougars, 68-56, in Regents Hall.
to play Missouri S&T in the GLVC Tournament semifinals at Springfield,
Mo., on Saturday. Drury defeated Wisconsin-Parkside on Tuesday and
is the host for the event.
For SIUE, Tuesday
was a night of finality, as Wendy Hedberg coached her final game
on the Cougar bench in the team’s last game at the NCAA Division
II level. SIUE will reclassify to Division I next season.
converted a layup with just more than 10 minutes remaining in the
second half to put the Cougars up by five before the Norse responded
with a 17-0 run to end the contest.
our seniors that they needed to be seniors,” said NKU head
coach Nancy Winstel. “There were times where Edwardsville
was beating us on some hustle plays. But when the chips were down,
I thought we stepped up.”
Healy and junior Cassie Brannen accounted for eight points during
the stretch to go along with five rebounds, four blocks, two assists
and two steals. All told, Brannen went for 14 points, five rebounds
and four blocks, while Healy added 12 points, eight boards, four
assists and three rejections.
and butter is to get the ball inside to Cassie and Angela and when
we only shoot jump shots, that is not a good thing,” said
Winstel, praising the team’s inside game. “They have
to have touches and I think we understand that, but then again,
our guards have the confidence to shoot the ball.”
It was a game
of runs, as the Norse jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the game’s
first five minutes. Danyelle Echoles and Jessie Slack each hit from
long range as the Norse took the early advantage.
Amber Shelton then began to find her rhythm, scoring eight of the
Cougars’ next 18 points to turn a six-point deficit into a
five-point lead. By the end of the night, Shelton would put up 22
points to lead all scorers. Amy Austin’s 3-pointer with 9:25
remaining would give the Cougars their largest lead of the night
NKU would not
be held down, however, responding with a 13-7 run to end the first
half as Echoles poured in eight of her season-high 16 points, including
a pair of treys, to put the Norse back on top, 30-29, at the intermission.
have been down by 10 at halftime,” Winstel said, “but
we were up one, and I thought Echoles was the main reason for that.”
The flow of
the game went back and forth to open the second half, with the teams
trading the lead seven different times in the first 7:30 of the
frame. Slack got in a groove during the stretch with eight of her
team-high 17 points helping to keep the game close leading into
NKU’s game-ending run.
Both teams relied
on their respective starting fives, combining for just seven points
off the benches.
the prettiest game we’ve played, but when you get to tournament
time, it is survive and advance,” added Winstel, whose team
is fighting for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. “I’ve
been in March Madness for the last three weeks. We found a way to
win, so good for us.”