Dec. 12, 1999
NKU FACES ESU IN PUERTO RICO CLASSIC
Norse (6-1) play Emporia State (5-2) in first round
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team, now 6-1 after defeating the University of Indianapolis, 65-64, on Dec. 7, will play Emporia (Kan.) State University at 1 p.m. (EST) on Dec. 18 in the first round of the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic at San Juan, Puerto Rico.
NKU - ranked No. 7 nationally in the Division II Bulletin poll - and Emporia State have never met in mens basketball. The winner of that game will face the winner of the Augustana (S.D.) College/University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 19. The championship game of the tournament will be held at 5 p.m. on Dec. 20.
Freshman guard Brenden Stowers scored a career-high 20 points to lead NKU past Indianapolis on Dec. 7. Stowers, a graduate of Simon Kenton High School, made 8 of 11 shots from the field. He also connected on 4 of 6 three-point attempts. Junior guard Craig Conley added 14 points for the Norse, who made 11 of 33 three-point attempts.
Indianapolis had two chances to win in the final 10 seconds, but an off-target jumper by Rob Kent and a missed layup off the ensuing offensive rebound by Ryan Hupfer allowed NKU to pull out the victory and improve to 2-1 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
Stowers averages 8.0 ppg, and he has connected on 10 of 26 three-point attempts. He also has 11 assists and 10 steals. Conley is scoring 10.3 ppg, and he has made 12 of 18 (.667) three-point attempts. Conley enters the tournament having scored 777 career points at NKU.
Junior guard Brian Lawhon leads NKU in scoring (13.6 ppg), and he has made 20 of 46 (.435) of his three-point attempts. Lawhon has now scored 789 career points during his NKU career. Sophomore guard/forward Craig Sanders averages 12.1 ppg, and he has connected on 20 of 52 three-point attempts this season. Sanders has scored 550 career points at NKU.
Junior center Zach Wieber is scoring 8.4 ppg, and he leads the team in rebounding at 6.9 rpg. Wieber has also made 53.2 percent of his shots from the field. Junior forward Adam Norwell averages 5.3 ppg and 3.3 rebounds per contest. Norwell is shooting 52.4 percent from the field and 68.2 percent from the free throw line.
Senior guard Kevin Listerman (6.3 ppg) leads NKU in both assists (28) and steals (19). Listerman is also shooting 80 percent from the free throw line. Listerman has scored 608 career points with the Norse. Junior forward Billy Brewster averages 8.3 ppg and 4.9 rpg, and he is shooting 52.4 percent from the field. Senior forward Scott Marston is scoring 5.1 ppg.
Freshman guard Josh Murphy is scoring 4.7 ppg, and freshman center Jesse Rupe averages 4.2 ppg. Sophomore guard Brian Schaefer averages 2.3 ppg, and senior guard Mitch Perdrix is scoring 1.3 ppg.
SHIELDS GOES FOR NO. 200: Norse head coach Ken Shields is now 199-128 in 12 years at NKU, and he can pick up victory No. 200 against Emporia State on Dec. 18. Shields has led NKU to a pair of NCAA Division II national championship game appearances (1996, 1997), and he has guided the Norse to two (1995, 1997) GLVC championships.
ABOUT EMPORIA STATE: The Hornets, members of the NCAA Division II Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, enter the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic with a 5-2 record after posting a 70-69 overtime victory against Baker (Kan.) University on Dec. 11. ESU is led by junior guard David Peoples, who averages a team-best 15.0 ppg. Peoples also leads the team in three-pointers made (20) and steals (21).
Junior forward Bennie Theriot averages 14.4 ppg and 7.6 rebounds, and he is shooting 54.2 percent from the field. Senior guard Lucas Sims is scoring 10.4 ppg, and junior center Heath Fusilier averages 10.1 ppg and 7.6 rpg. Fusilier is shooting 50 percent from the field.
ESU posted a 10-16 overall record last season, and the Hornets finished 11th in the MIAA. At one time last season ESU was 9-1, but injuries decimated the Hornets lineup and they were able to win just one of the final 16 games.
PUERTO RICO HOLIDAY CLASSIC SCHEDULE
(Times listed are EST)
Saturday, Dec. 18
1 p.m. - NKU vs. Emporia State
3:15 p.m. - Augustana vs. UPR-Rio Piedras
5:30 p.m. - Missouri Western vs. Cayey (Puerto Rico)
7 p.m. - CUTB (Puerto Rico) vs. Lake Superior State
Sunday, Dec. 19
11 a.m. - Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
1:15 p.m. - Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
3:30 p.m. - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner game 2
6 p.m. - Winner Game 3 vs. Winner game 4
Monday, Dec. 20
10 a.m. - 7th Place Game
12:15 - 5th Place Game
2:30 p.m. - Consolation Game
5 p.m. - Championship Game