Jessie Slack (21) is defended by Cincinnati’s Carla
Jacobs during the first half Thursday night. Slack poured
in a game-high 24 points and drained six 3-pointers, but Cincinnati
held on for a 69-67 win.
Whether it's against the Big East, the Great Lakes Valley Conference
or just a pick-up game, Nancy Winstel demands all-out effort from
her players, regardless of the score. That's why she has more than
500 career victories as the women's basketball head coach at Northern
Facing a 21-point
deficit against the University of Cincinnati on Thursday night and
missing five graduated players from last season's 21-8 team, NKU
refused to fold in an exhibition game against the Bearcats. In fact,
the Norse almost completed a stunning comeback before falling just
short, 69-67, in Fifth Third Arena.
is never happy with a loss, she was pleased with the second-half
performance. And the fact her team toughened up after falling behind
by 21 points in the second half made the evening a success, even
we battled in the second half. In the first half, we were a little
nervous, but this is the first time this group has ever played in
a real game together," Winstel said. "We got back into
the game with a great comeback, and even though we made some mistakes
down the stretch, you have to give our kids a lot of credit for
the way they battled to the end.
ourselves in position to win at the end, and we just fell a little
NKU to 8-for-23 shooting from the field during the first half with
a zone defense and built a 36-24 lead at the break. The Bearcats
extended their advantage to 47-26 on a layup by Caitlin Pauley with
13:21 remaining in the game and still owned a 21-point cushion after
Tenishia Benson's basket with 12:40 left.
After two free
throws by Cassie Brannen cut the UC lead to 49-30, Jessie Slack
and Rachel Lantry fueled the NKU comeback from long range. First
it was Slack, who drained a 3-pointer to make it 49-33. Lantry followed
by burying back-to-back treys to bring the Norse to within 53-39.
After an Angela
Healy basket made it 54-41, Slack struck again by connecting on
yet another 3-pointer to cut the UC lead to 54-44 with 10:01 remaining.
Slack played great. Her presence on the floor was tremendous, and
she had an outstanding game shooting the ball," Winstel said.
"I thought Rachel Lantry probably was our player of the game
for the entire night. She did so many good things out there, and
she can flat-out shoot the ball. She still has things to learn,
because she really did not get a lot of minutes last year, but Rachel
did a great job tonight."
Lantry goes in for a layup after a steal during the first
half of NKU’s game at Cincinnati on Thursday night.
Lantry finished with eight points and hit a pair of 3-pointers
to key a Norse rally.
After the NKU
rally, UC regained its composure and appeared to have put the game
away after building a 12-point lead with 2:27 remaining. The Norse
stormed back with a 9-0 run, capped by seven straight points from
Slack. The East Carolina transfer made two free throws with 33 seconds
left to make it 67-64.
was clutch late in the game, and I was really happy to see her take
control," Winstel said of her junior guard.
made one of two free throws with 18 seconds left to extend UC's
lead to 68-64. After Nicole Chiodi missed a 3-point attempt, Slack
chased down the offensive rebound and launched a long 3-pointer
that found the bottom of the net to make it 68-67 with a second
NKU fouled Carla
Jacobs with 0.9 seconds on the clock, and Jacobs missed the first
free throw. She then hit the second attempt to make it 69-67, but
NKU had one final chance. A length-of-the-court pass, however, was
batted away as the buzzer sounded, and UC escaped with a win against
an NKU basketball team for the second straight evening. The night
before, the Bearcat men rallied for a 76-71 victory against the
in 24 points in her NKU debut, and she drained six shots from 3-point
range. Healy added 13 points, five rebounds, five assists and five
steals. Lantry finished with eight points, three assists and two
steals, while Chiodi added nine points and five assists. Brannen,
playing on a tender ankle, scored eight points and pulled down three
not move the ball as well as we need to, but when we went smaller
in the second half, it helped us," Winstel said. "If we
play the first half like the second half, it's a different story.
But that is why you play these games...to find out where you are,
and what you need to work on."
NKU begins its
regular-season schedule Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. against Brescia in Regents
Hall. The Norse then hit the road for three consecutive games, beginning
with a Nov. 20 contest at Mercyhurst. NKU then opens GLVC play with
road games at Quincy (Nov. 29) and Southern Illinois at Edwardsville