Dec. 2, 2002

NKU REMAINS PERFECT WITH 73-54 WIN

Stowers, Smith lead Norse past Missouri-St. Louis

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Brenden Stowers scored 18 points Monday night as Northern Kentucky University defeated the University of Missouri-St. Louis, 73-54, in Regents Hall.

Quentin Smith added 13 points and eight rebounds for NKU, which improved to 5-0 overall, 2-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The Norse shot 61.5 percent from the field in the second half to pull away from Missouri-St. Louis (3-2 overall, 1-1 GLVC) and remain unbeaten.

NKU built a 13-point lead early in the game, but Missouri-St. Louis closed the half with a 19-9 run to pull within 27-24 at intermission. The Norse used a 12-4 run to begin the second half and held a 41-28 lead on Stowers’ three-point basket with 14:47 left, but the Rivermen staged another rally.

After Missouri-St. Louis cut NKU’s lead to 50-46 on a three-pointer by Qwanzi Samuels with 9:19 remaining, Smith keyed a 10-0 run with a pair of baskets as the Norse increased their advantage to 57-46. Chris Seabrooks then hit a short jumper while being fouled and converted the free throw to give NKU a 60-46 lead.

Mike Kelsey finished with 12 points for NKU, and Seabrooks added 11 points. NKU won the rebounding battle by a 31-27 margin, and the Norse committed just 10 turnovers.

NKU will hit the road for Owensboro, Ky., to meet the nation’s No. 1 team - Kentucky Wesleyan College - at 8:30 p.m. this Thursday night (Dec. 5). Kentucky Wesleyan is 2-0 and owns a 41-game home winning streak, which is the longest in NCAA Division II men’s basketball.

NKU has not beaten Kentucky Wesleyan in the Owensboro Sportscenter since Feb. 11, 1988, when the Norse posted a 93-85 victory over the Panthers. Since then, NKU has dropped 16 consecutive games to Kentucky Wesleyan in the Owensboro Sportscenter.

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Quentin Smith