Jan. 27, 2004
NKU TO MEET BELLARMINE ON SATURDAY
Norse (13-8 overall, 6-5 GLVC) own 17 straight wins over Knights
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team will play host to Bellarmine University at 7:45 p.m. Saturday in Regents Hall.
NKU is 13-8 overall after posting an 86-75 victory against Saint Josephs College last Saturday. The Norse are 6-5 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and in fifth place in the league standings.
RUPE, KELSEY RALLY NKU PAST PUMAS: Mike Kelsey and Jesse Rupe combined for 42 points Saturday to lead NKU past Saint Josephs. Kelsey scored 14 of his 22 points in the second half as NKU rallied from a 45-41 deficit with 19:01 remaining in the game.
Rupe, who hit all nine of his attempts from the field, scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half and also added four blocked shots.
Rupe keyed a 22-7 run early in the second half with six points as NKU built a 63-52 lead. Adam Howell and Steve Purdon added five points each during the spurt.
Pat Cary added 12 points and nine rebounds for NKU, which has beaten Saint Joseph's three straight times. Howell finished with 10 points, and Purdon added eight points and seven rebounds.
KELSEY MOVES UP TO 22ND: NKU junior guard Mike Kelsey now has 1,040 career points and is 22nd on the Norses all-time scoring list. Kelsey averages 18.3 points per game (No. 4 in the GLVC), and he has made 62-of-153 three-point attempts this season.
Kelsey has scored in double figures 12 consecutive games entering Saturday's contest with Bellarmine. He has also reached double figures in 20 of NKUs 21 games this season.
ROWLAND REMAINS NO. 1: NKU junior point guard Sean Rowland continues to lead the GLVC with a 2.79 assists-to-turnover ratio. Rowland also ranks No. 2 in the GLVC in assists per game at 5.05 apg.
RUPE MOVES PAST 700 CAREER POINTS: NKU senior center Jesse Rupe enters Saturday with 716 career points, which ranks No. 38 in Norse history. Rupe averages 15.0 ppg and a team-leading 7.1 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 55.9 percent from the field and has 28 blocked shots.
ABOUT BELLARMINE: The Knights, who will play at the University of Indianapolis on Thursday, own a 7-11 overall record. Bellarmine is 4-7 in the GLVC.
Bellarmine is led by senior forward Bruce Johnson, who averages 16.3 ppg. Senior guard Victor Pierson is scoring 13.9 ppg, and senior guard Zach Miller averages 12.6 ppg.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST BELLARMINE: On Jan. 23, 2003, Quentin Smith scored 10 of his 17 points in the second half as NKU defeated Bellarmine, 75-68, in Regents Hall. Brenden Stowers added 17 points as the Norse rallied from a nine-point deficit to post the victory.
Bellarmine held a 32-23 lead with 4:28 left before halftime, but NKU finished with a 10-4 run to close within 36-33 at the break. The Norse made just 35.7 percent of their shots from the field in the first half.
Bellarmine still held a 52-51 lead with 9:12 remaining in the game, but a Smith inside basket followed by a conventional three-point play by Mike Kelsey gave NKU a 56-52 advantage. The Norse led the remainder of the game, as Stowers and Bobby St-Preux - who made a pair of three-point shots in the last four minutes - combined for 14 of NKUs final 17 points.
Kelsey added 14 points for NKU, which shot 56 percent from the field in the second half and held Bellarmine to just 38.8 percent shooting. The Norse also won the rebounding battle by a 43-34 margin as Smith grabbed a game-high nine boards.
Bruce Johnson led Bellarmine with 17 points, and Brad Ayer finished with 15 points.
THE STREAK AGAINST BELLARMINE: NKU has beaten Bellarmine 17 consecutive times going into Saturdays game. Bellarmines last victory against NKU came on Feb. 3, 1994, when the Knights escaped with a 73-72 win in Regents Hall.
SOUTHERN INDIANA UP NEXT: NKU will hit the road for a two-game road trip next week, beginning with an 8:30 p.m. game at the University of Southern Indiana on Feb. 5 in Evansville, Ind.
The Norse will also visit the University of Missouri-St. Louis on Feb. 7.
TIME CHANGE FOR FEB. 14 HOME FINALE: NKUs Feb. 14 home game against Lewis University has been moved from a 3:15 p.m. start to 4:30 p.m. This will mark the final home game for NKU head coach Ken Shields, who is retiring at the end of the season.
Call (859) 572-6639 or 572-6632 for ticket information regarding the Feb. 14 game.