Dec. 2, 2003
NKU PREPARES FOR LEWIS, UW-PARKSIDE
Norse hit road for Thursday showdown with Flyers
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team will meet Lewis University at 8:30 p.m. Thursday night at Romeoville, Ill., in an early-season Great Lakes Valley Conference showdown.
NKU enters that contest 5-3 overall, 2-0 in the GLVC. Lewis is also unbeaten (2-0) in the GLVC, and the Flyers are 4-1 overall.
NKU rallied for a 75-73 win over Quincy University this past Monday night in Regents Hall. Jesse Rupe scored 16 points and converted a pair of game-clinching free throws with 7.5 seconds remaining Monday night as NKU held off Quincy.
After Rupe hit the two free throws to give NKU a 75-71 lead with 7.5 seconds left, Quincys Jamal Thompson missed a three-pointer with two seconds remaining. Jordan Roth grabbed the offensive rebound and scored at the buzzer to account for the final margin.
Quincy held a 59-53 lead with 6:23 remaining in the game, but NKU used a 13-0 run to take a 66-59 advantage when Rupe converted a layup with 3:14 left. Brian Lewin and Steve Purdon both hit three-point shots to key the NKU spurt.
A layup by Thompson with 9.8 seconds left cut NKUs lead to 73-71, and Quincy immediately fouled Rupe. He converted both free throws to seal the victory for the Norse.
Rupe also grabbed 11 rebounds in 23 minutes of action Monday. He made all four of his field goal attempts and was 8-of-8 from the free throw line.
Kevin Reinhardt scored 17 points to lead NKU, while Mike Kelsey added 16 points. Purdon scored 13 points for the Norse. Thompson led Quincy (2-4 overall, 0-2 in the GLVC) with 16 points.
Roth and Cory Cummens each added 12 points for the Hawks, who dropped to 0-8 all-time in Regents Hall.
SHIELDS NEARS 300 CAREER WINS: NKU head coach Ken Shields enters Thursday's game with 295 career victories. He is the Norse's all-time career leader in wins.
THREE-POINT MACHINE: NKU has attempted 184 three-pointers - the most by any GLVC team - going into Thursdays game. The Norse have made 67-of-184 (36.4 percent) of their three-point attempts. Junior guard Mike Kelsey is 24-of-58 from three-point range, while junior guard Steve Purdon is 16-of-40 from long range.
ABOUT LEWIS: The Flyers are led by senior forward Monta McGhee, who averages 19.0 ppg and 6.8 rebounds per contest. Senior post player Sidney Holmes is scoring 13.4 ppg and grabbing 8.6 rpg. The Flyers feature five players who score in double figures.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST LEWIS: On March 8, 2003, in the championship game of the GLVC Tournament at Evansville, Ind., Brenden Stowers scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half as NKU rallied to defeat Lewis, 58-55, in Roberts Stadium.
Bobby St-Preux added 14 points, including a running jumper with six seconds remaining in the game that gave NKU a 58-55 lead. Monta McGhees desperation three-point attempt at the buzzer fell short, giving NKU its first-ever GLVC Tournament title.
Lewis built a 42-29 lead with 15 minutes left in the game on a McGhee layup, but NKU responded with a 22-8 run to take a 51-50 advantage on Stowers layup at the 5:52 mark. Stowers later hit a three-pointer with 3:17 left that gave the Norse a 56-53 lead, but McGhee countered with two free throws - the final points of the game for Lewis - at the 2:26 mark to cut the deficit to 56-55.
Both teams missed scoring chances in the final two minutes, but with the shot clock winding down, St-Preux took a pass at the top of the key, drove the left side of the lane and hit a 10-foot running jumper to extend NKU's lead to 58-55 with six seconds left in the game.
McGhee launched a 25-footer from the left side on Lewis final possession, but the shot was off target as the buzzer sounded.
THE STREAK AGAINST LEWIS: NKU defeated Lewis three times last season, and the Norse own eight straight wins against the Flyers. Lewis has not defeated NKU since Dec. 2, 1999, when the Flyers posted a 75-68 win against the Norse at the Neil Cary Arena.
NKU has won three consecutive games against Lewis at the Neil Cary Arena.