Cassie Brannen attempts a shot against Missouri S&T defenders
Katie Bunge (left) and Tamara McCaskill (right) during the
first half. Brannen finished with 17 points as the Norse posted
a 79-67 win.
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Mo. - A fast start and some sizzling shooting from the field helped
Northern Kentucky University pick up a huge in-region victory Saturday
afternoon in the semifinals of the Great Lakes Valley Conference
scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead NKU to a 79-67
win over Missouri S&T in Weiser Gym. Healy, a senior center
from Highlands High School, was 8-for-10 from the field and also
blocked two shots as NKU (22-7) advanced to the GLVC Tournament
championship game against Drury on Sunday at 2 p.m.
winner will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Pairings for the 64-team field will be announced Sunday night, but
NKU virtually assured itself of a spot in the NCAA Tournament with
its win Saturday. Missouri S&T entered the game ranked No. 3
in the latest Great Lakes Region poll, and NKU was No. 8.
added 17 points and three blocks against Missouri S&T, while
Nicole Chiodi finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Healy and Cassie Brannen were warriors inside, and that is a very
good team we beat,” NKU head coach Nancy Winstel said. “They
beat us by 24 points the last time we played them, but our kids
did a great job of getting off to a strong start and then we held
on for the win."
knocked down four 3-pointers and scored 16 points for NKU, while
teammate Danyelle Echoles added 11 points. The Norse built a 21-point
(38-17) lead in the first half, but Missouri S&T (22-6) used
a 14-3 run to cut the NKU advantage to 41-31 at the break.
The Lady Miners
pulled to within 51-50 on a basket by Katie Bunge with 11:50 left
in the game, but NKU sealed the victory with a 14-3 run to extend
its lead to 65-53. Healy, a 6-foot-1 center who was named All-Great
Lakes Region on Friday, keyed the spurt with six points.
and Slack both made big shots when we pulled away,” Winstel
said. “Jessie has been shooting the ball well, and Angela
has played like an All-American the entire season. I know she is
our All-American, and she provided us with that go-to player when
Missouri S&T made that big run in the second half.”
NKU shot 58.7
percent from the field and was 7-for-14 from 3-point range. The
Norse held the Lady Miners to 36.8 percent shooting from the field
and won despite committing 25 turnovers.
a 56-52 win over Indianapolis in the other semifinal game Saturday.
NKU and Drury met once this season, and the Lady Panthers defeated
the Norse, 55-52 Jan. 5 in Highland Heights, Ky.
has an outstanding team, and they are very hard to beat on their
home floor,” Winstel said. “Their fans are going to
be very loud and enthusiastic, so we’re going to have to play
our best game to have a chance. It's just fun to be back in the
GLVC championship game.”