Dec. 20, 1999

 

MISSOURI WESTERN DEFEATS NKU, 72-69

Norse fall in Puerto Rico Holiday Classic championship game

 

BAYAMON, Puerto Rico - Reggie Alexander scored 19 points, blocked five shots and hit two key free throws in the final seconds Monday night as Missouri Western State College defeated Northern Kentucky University, 72-69, in the championship game of the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic.

Missouri Western (9-0) built an 11-point halftime lead (35-24), but NKU used three-point shooting to rally in the second half. The Norse made 14 of 34 three-point attempts - including 9 of 17 in the second half - to get back in the game and eventually take the lead. NKU took a 69-68 lead with 10 seconds remaining on an Adam Norwell layup, but MWSC’s Ryan Schumacher hit a jumper with three seconds left to give the Griffons a 70-69 lead.

Alexander stole the ensuing inbounds pass and made two free throws to give MWSC a 72-69 lead, and the Griffons won the inaugural Puerto Rico Holiday Classic title.

Sophomore forward Craig Sanders scored 22 points and made six three-pointers to lead NKU, and junior guard Craig Conley added 16 points. Sanders and Conley both were named to the All-Tournament Team

NKU, now 8-2, will travel next week to play in the California (Pa.) Tournament on Dec. 29 against Mount Olive (N.C.) in the first round at 6 p.m.