Feb. 2, 2004
NKU HITS ROAD FOR USI, UM-ST. LOUIS
Norse attempt to pull off season sweep of Screaming Eagles this Thursday
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team will play a Great Lakes Valley Conference road game at the University of Southern Indiana this Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. at Evansville, Ind.
NKU will conclude its two-game road trip Saturday with a 4:15 p.m. contest at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Both games will be broadcast live on the radio on WTSJ (1050 AM).
NKU improved to 14-8 overall last Saturday with a 100-87 win over Bellarmine University in Regents Hall. The Norse, who have won three straight games, are 7-5 in the GLVC and in fifth place in the league standings.
Steve Purdon scored 20 points Saturday to lead NKU. Kevin Reinhardt scored 15 of his 19 points in the first half as NKU built a 55-37 lead at the break.
Purdon, who made six three-point shots, added 11 points before halftime for the Norse. NKU shot 53.7 percent from the field in the first half, and the Norse used 7-for-13 shooting from three-point range before the break to build the 18-point lead before a sellout crowd of 1,685 on hand for the 2004 Homecoming.
Mike Kelsey finished with 16 points and seven assists as NKU defeated Bellarmine for the 18th consecutive time. The Norse also made 11-of-24 attempts from three-point range. Bellarmines last victory against NKU came on Feb. 3, 1994, when the Knights escaped with a 73-72 win in Regents Hall.
Jesse Rupe added 14 points and six rebounds for NKU. Kevin Schappell came off the bench and finished with 13 points for the Norse.
NORSE REACH CENTURY MARK: NKUs victory against Bellarmine on Saturday marked the first time since a 100-99 win at Saint Josephs College on Jan. 4, 2003, that NKU had scored 100 points.
PURDON CONTINUES TORRID SHOOTING: NKU junior guard Steve Purdon has scored in double figures in five of his past six games. Purdon has averaged 12.8 points per game during that stretch.
For the season, Purdon averages 9.4 ppg and ranks No. 2 on the team in three-pointers made with 44.
KELSEY EXTENDS STREAK: NKU junior guard Mike Kelsey has scored in double figures in 13 straight games entering Thursday night. Kelsey, who averages a team-leading 18.2 ppg (No. 5 in the GLVC), has reached double figures in 21 of NKUs 22 games this season.
He enters Thursday night with 1,056 career points, which ranks No. 22 on the NKU all-time scoring. Kelsey also leads the GLVC in three-pointers made per game at 2.95.
SUPER RUPE: NKU senior center Jesse Rupe averages 15.0 ppg and 7.0 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 56.1 percent from the field.
Rupe has scored in double figures in four straight games and enters Thursday with 730 career points, which ranks 38th on the NKU all-time list.
ABOUT SOUTHERN INDIANA: The Screaming Eagles are 16-4 overall after dropping an 83-80 decision at Saint Josephs. Southern Indiana is 9-4 in the GLVC and tied for second place.
Southern Indiana features senior center John Oden, who averages 13.8 ppg. Oden is shooting 69.6 percent from the field and has 23 blocked shots. Senior guard Joe Gordon is scoring 11.2 ppg.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST SOUTHERN INDIANA: Earlier this season on Jan. 10, Mike Kelsey scored 24 points and made a key basket late in the game as NKU upset top-ranked Southern Indiana, 81-80, in Regents Hall.
Southern Indiana had a chance to send the game into overtime with 2.6 seconds remaining after John Oden drew a foul attempting a layup. Oden hit the first free throw to make it 81-80, but after an NKU timeout he missed the second attempt.
NKUs Jared Ronai missed two free throws - the second intentionally - with 1.7 seconds left and Southern Indiana rebounded. Avery Queen's halfcourt attempt, however, was off target and NKU celebrated its victory over the nation's top-ranked team.
NKU rallied from a 77-73 deficit with 4:43 remaining in the game to take a 78-77 lead when Sean Rowland hit a short jumper with 1:54 left. Kelsey gave the Norse an 80-77 advantage with 1:12 remaining with a driving layup.
After Odens basket cut the deficit to 80-79 with 32 seconds left, NKU was called for a five-second violation and Southern Indiana regained possession underneath its own basket. Joe Gordon missed a leaning jumper, though, and Rowland was fouled with 21 seconds left.
Rowland converted one free throw to give NKU an 81-79 lead. Southern Indiana worked the ball inside to Oden, who was fouled with 2.6 seconds left on the clock.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS: Earlier this season on Nov. 29, Brian Lewin scored a career-high 29 points as NKU defeated Missouri-St. Louis, 88-85, in Regents Hall.
Lewin made 9-of-12 shots from the field and connected on five three-pointers. He scored five points in the final three minutes as NKU held off a late rally by Missouri-St. Louis.
Steve Purdon added 16 points for the Norse, who made 11-of-20 three-point attempts. Mike Kelsey finished with 14 points and five assists, and he converted three free throws in the final 12 seconds to ice the victory for NKU.
Pat Cary added 11 points and five rebounds for the Norse, who shot 60.8 percent from the field and improved to 12-3 in the all-time series against Missouri-St. Louis. NKU is unbeaten (6-0) in Regents Hall against the Rivermen.
A conventional three-point play by Purdon at the 9:07 mark gave NKU its biggest lead at 72-57, but Missouri-St. Louis responded with a 23-10 run to slice the deficit to 82-80 on a three-pointer by Sherome Cole with 1:08 remaining.
Lewin countered by hitting a layup to extend NKUs lead to 84-80 with 39 seconds left, and the Norse held on to win their GLVC opener for the fourth straight year.
Jonathan Griffin led Missouri-St. Louis with 24 points. The Rivermen hit 11-of-22 from three-point range.