Feb. 10, 2003
NKU TO HOST POWERFUL USI THURSDAY
Norse face talented Screaming Eagles at 7:45 p.m.
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team will play host to the University of Southern Indiana this Thursday night at 7:45 p.m. in Regents Hall.
NKU will also meet Kentucky Wesleyan College at 3:15 p.m. Saturday in Regents Hall. The Norse are 19-3 overall after posting a 70-66 decision at Quincy University on Saturday.
NKU is sole possession in first place in the Great Lakes Valley Conference with a 13-2 record, while Southern Indiana is 16-5 overall, 10-4 in the GLVC. Kentucky Wesleyan is 19-2 overall, 12-2 in the GLVC and trails NKU by one-half game in the league standings.
NKU is ranked No. 10 nationally in the latest NCAA Division II poll, while Kentucky Wesleyan is ranked No. 4. Southern Indiana, which was rated No. 22 last week, dropped out of the Top 25 but received votes in the current poll.
Brenden Stowers scored 15 points and made two clutch free throws late in the game Saturday to lift NKU past Quincy. NKU built a 63-49 lead with 4:10 remaining, but Quincy used a 15-4 run to pull within 67-64 on Cory Cummens three-pointer with 29 seconds left. Stowers was fouled with 20 seconds remaining, and he made both free throws to extend NKUs lead to 69-64.
Lee Caldwell missed a three-point attempt on Quincys possession, and Mike Kelsey - who grabbed the rebound and was fouled - made one of two free throws to ice the victory for NKU. Kelsey finished with 14 points as NKU defeated Quincy for the 15th time in 16 meetings.
The Hawks only victory in the series came during the 1998-99 season, when they pulled out an 86-83 overtime win at the Pepsi Arena.
HOME WIN STREAK AT 20: NKU enters Thursday having won 20 consecutive games in Regents Hall. The 20-game home win streak ranks No. 2 nationally in NCAA Division II mens basketball.
The Norse - 11-0 at home this season - have not lost in Regents Hall since Dec. 6, 2001, when Kentucky Wesleyan posted a 64-62 win over NKU.
STOWERS SETS NKU RECORD: Senior guard Brenden Stowers set the NKU single-season record for made free throws last Thursday when he converted his 132nd free throw during the Norses 74-72 win at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He broke the previous record of 131, set by Brady Jackson in 1982-83.
Stowers, who leads NKU in scoring at 16.0 points per game, enters Thursday nights game against Southern Indiana having made 138 free throws this season. He also leads NKU in assists (3.72 apg) and has made 30 of 73 three-point attempts.
Stowers has also scored in double figures in 10 consecutive games.
RUPE HAS BIG ROAD TRIP: NKU junior forward/center Jesse Rupe averaged 13 points during the Norses two road wins last week. Rupe, who averages 7.4 ppg, finished with 12 points and seven rebounds Saturday against Quincy.
For the season, Rupe averages 7.4 ppg and 4.5 rebounds per contest. He is also shooting 63.5 percent from the field and has 13 blocked shots.
STREAK CONTINUES FOR KELSEY: NKU sophomore guard Mike Kelsey extended his streak of consecutive games scoring in double figures to 14 on Saturday with 14 points against Quincy. Kelsey averages 14.1 ppg, and he leads NKU in three-pointers made with 53.
ABOUT SOUTHERN INDIANA: The Screaming Eagles are 16-5 overall after dropping an 89-84 decision to Kentucky Wesleyan on Saturday in Evansville, Ind. Southern Indiana is 10-4 in the GLVC.
Southern Indiana is led by senior forward Diondre Givens, who averages 15.5 ppg. Sophomore guard Cris Brunson, one of the nations top outside shooters, is scoring 13.5 ppg. Brunson has made 47 of 114 three-point attempts, and he is shooting 90.7 percent from the free throw line.
Junior forward Billy Harris averages 12.8 ppg and 7.4 rebounds per contest, and sophomore forward Dennis Coutee is scoring 9.8 ppg.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST SOUTHERN INDIANA: Earlier this season on Jan. 18, Diondre Givens and Cris Brunson combined for 38 points as Southern Indiana defeated NKU, 87-82, at the PAC Arena. Dennis Coutee added 16 points for Southern Indiana, which shot 65.4 percent from the field in the second half and rallied from a nine-point deficit to defeat NKU.
A dunk by Chris Seabrooks gave NKU a 51-42 lead early in the second half, but Southern Indiana used a 17-7 run to take a 59-58 advantage. Brunson drilled a pair of three-pointers to key the Screaming Eagles spurt.
Brenden Stowers - who scored 28 points to lead NKU - converted a layup to give the Norse a 79-77 lead with 3:30 remaining in the game, but a jumper by Coutee tied the game at 79-79. Brunson (17 points) made a three-pointer with 2:42 left to give Southern Indiana an 82-79 advantage, and the Screaming Eagles led the remainder of the game.
Southern Indiana leads the all-time series with NKU, 34-14.
LAST SEASON IN REGENTS HALL: On Dec. 8, 2001, Brenden Stowers driving layup with seven seconds left in overtime gave NKU an 83-82 win over Southern Indiana. Wes Atteburys tip-in with 16 seconds remaining gave Southern Indiana an 82-81 lead, setting the stage for Stowers.
After Stowers dribbled past two defenders for a layup to give the Norse an 83-82 advantage, Southern Indiana missed two potential game-winning shots in the final seconds.
NKU rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second half by shooting 60 percent from the field. NKU eventually took a 66-60 lead with 2:29 remaining when Stowers converted a layup.
Southern Indiana, though, used a 9-3 run to send the game into overtime. The Norse made six of seven shots, including both three-point attempts, in the overtime to pull out the win.
ABOUT KENTUCKY WESLEYAN: The Panthers, who play at Bellarmine University on Thursday, improved to 19-2 Saturday with an 89-84 win at Southern Indiana. Kentucky Wesleyan is 12-2 in the GLVC and has won nine straight games going into Thursday.
The Panthers are led by senior guard Marlon Parmer, who averages 18.4 ppg, 8.4 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game. Parmer - who transferred to Kentucky Wesleyan from the University of New Mexico, where he was one of the Mountain West Conferences top performers - scored 37 points and dished out 13 assists against Southern Indiana last Saturday. Parmer also snapped an 84-84 tie by hitting a three-pointer late in the game to give the Panthers the victory.
Senior guard Huggy Dye averages 12.9 ppg, while junior forward Damon Garris is scoring 12.4 ppg. Senior center Eugene Dabney is scoring 10.6 ppg and leads the GLVC with 54 blocked shots. Junior guard Bobby Zuerner averages 8.1 ppg and has made 41 of 84 three-point attempts.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST KENTUCKY WESLEYAN: Earlier this season on Dec. 5, Mike Kelseys driving layup with 1:05 remaining in the game snapped a 72-72 tie and lifted NKU to a 74-73 victory over top-ranked Kentucky Wesleyan in the Owensboro Sportscenter.
After Kelseys basket, Damon Garris hit one of two free throws with 41 seconds remaining to bring Kentucky Wesleyan within 74-73. The Panthers had two shots to win in the closing seconds, but Eric Freemans six-foot jumper at the buzzer was off-target, and NKU celebrated its first win against the Panthers in the Owensboro Sportscenter since Feb. 11, 1988.
Bobby St-Preux led NKU with 14 points. Quentin Smith added 13 points and Adam Howell scored 12 points as the Norse ended Kentucky Wesleyans 41-game home win streak.
Kentucky Wesleyan leads the all-time series with NKU, 39-18.
LAST SEASON IN REGENTS HALL: On Dec. 6, 2001, Bobby Zuerner scored 17 points and made two free throws with 4.9 seconds remaining in the game as Kentucky Wesleyan defeated NKU, 64-62. Zuerners two free throws with 4.9 seconds left gave Kentucky Wesleyan a 64-60 lead. NKUs Craig Sanders hit a jumper at the buzzer to account for the final margin.
Kentucky Wesleyan built a 31-23 halftime lead by holding NKU to just 33.3 percent shooting from the field. The Panthers used the inside attack of Tyrus Boswell (16 points, nine rebounds) and the outside shooting of Zuerner to eventually build a double-digit lead (37-27) in the second half.
NKU, however, fought back behind the play of Sanders (19 points), Carl Mitchell (13 points, eight rebounds, five blocked shots) and Brenden Stowers (14 points, four assists) to take a 53-52 lead on Stowers three-pointer with 3:31 remaining.
Kentucky Wesleyan regained the lead at 54-53 when Boswell hit a short jumper with 3:17 remaining, and the Panthers never trailed again. NKU collected 11 blocked shots against the taller Panthers, but the Norse made just 7 of 21 three-point attempts.