Feb. 24, 2003
NKU FACES CRUCIAL ROAD TRIP
Norse travel to Wisconsin-Parkside, Lewis this week
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team will conclude the regular season this week with a pair of crucial Great Lakes Valley Conference road games, beginning with an 8:45 p.m Thursday contest at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
NKU, now 20-5 overall and 14-4 in the GLVC, will finish the road trip with a 4 p.m. Saturday game at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill. Following that, the Norse - ranked No. 13 nationally in this weeks NCAA Division II poll - will participate in the GLVC Tournament at Roberts Stadium in Evansville, Ind., with a first-round game on March 6.
The opponent and time for the GLVC first-round game will be announced this Saturday night. NKU is currently tied for second place in the GLVC standings with the University of Southern Indiana (20-5 overall, 14-4 GLVC). The Norse, however, were swept by the Screaming Eagles during the regular season and must finish in front of Southern Indiana to be the No. 2 seed.
If Lewis (20-5, 13-5 GLVC and ranked No. 16 nationally in the NCAA Division II poll) defeats both Bellarmine University and NKU this week, the Flyers could earn the No. 2 seed should Southern Indiana lose at either Quincy University or the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Kentucky Wesleyan College (23-2, 16-2 GLVC) has already wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the GLVC Tournament.
NKU needs to win at least one game - and possibly both, depending on the Lewis-Bellarmine outcome - this week to avoid being the No. 4 seed in the GLVC Tournament. The No. 4 seed could face the University of Indianapolis - the likely No. 5 seed - in the first round of the GLVC Tournament.
Both games this week can be heard live on WTSJ (1050 AM).
NKU SECURES 20-WIN SEASON: For the ninth time in history, the NKU mens basketball program has reached the 20-win plateau. The Norse have won at least 20 games in seven of the past nine years.
NORSE WIN THRILLER AT HOME: Brenden Stowers scored five points in the final minute Saturday night as NKU defeated Indianapolis, 83-76, in Regents Hall. NKU held a 78-76 lead with a minute remaining in the game and the shot clock winding down, but Stowers connected on a three-pointer to extend the Norses advantage to 81-76.
After David Logan missed a three-point shot on Indianapolis next possession, Stowers grabbed the rebound, was fouled and hit a pair of free throws to give NKU an 83-76 lead.
Stowers finished with 13 points and nine assists in his final game in Regents Hall. He now has 1,208 career points with the Norse and is tied with Mike Hofmeyer for 17th place on the NKU all-time scoring list.
NKU jumped out to a 34-14 lead in the first half as Mike Kelsey and Chris Seabrooks scored 10 points each before halftime. Indianapolis, though, used a 23-8 run in the final seven minutes of the first half to cut the deficit to 42-37 at intermission.
A three-pointer by Cory Bennett gave Indianapolis a 68-67 lead with 6:43 left in the game. NKU regained the lead with 6:12 remaining when Sean Rowland converted a layup, and the Norse built a 75-69 advantage on a rim-rattling dunk by Seabrooks at the 3:52 mark.
Logan made a three-pointer with 1:32 remaining to cut NKUs lead to 78-76, setting the stage for Stowers late-game heroics. The Norse - who snapped a two-game losing streak with the victory - made 59.3 percent of their shots from the field in the second half to hold off Indianapolis.
STOWERS SETS FREE THROW ATTEMPT RECORD: NKU senior guard Brenden Stowers set a Norse single-season record for free throw attempts last Saturday when he shot his 186th of 2002-03. He surpassed Brady Jacksons mark of 185, which was set during the 1982-83 season.
Stowers, who averages a team-leading 15.9 points per game (No. 6 in the GLVC), has scored in double figures in 13 consecutive games. He also ranks No. 6 in the GLVC in assists (4.16 apg) and No. 5 in steals (1.68 spg).
STREAK CONTINUES FOR KELSEY: NKU sophomore guard Mike Kelsey extended his streak of consecutive games scoring in double figures to 17 last Saturday with 23 points against Indianapolis.
Kelsey averages 14.7 ppg, which ranks No. 13 in the GLVC. He is No. 2 in the GLVC in three-pointers made per game (2.60) and ranks No. 11 in the GLVC in three-point shooting percentage (.406).
Q GETS DOUBLE-DOUBLE: NKU senior forward Quentin Smith recorded his fifth double-double of the season last Saturday with 12 points and 10 rebounds against Indianapolis. Smith averages 13.5 ppg and a team-leading 7.7 rebounds per game, which ranks No. 5 in the GLVC. He is also shooting 55.6 percent from the field.
SEABROOKS JAMS IN HOME FINALE: NKU senior center Chris Seabrooks made eight of his nine field goal attempts against Indianapolis and finished with 16 points. Seabrooks - who had three dunks against the Greyhounds - averages 8.6 ppg and 5.8 rebounds.
Seabrooks ranks No. 4 in the GLVC in blocked shots (1.08 bpg), and he is shooting 54.5 percent from the field.
ABOUT WISCONSIN-PARKSIDE: The Rangers are 13-12 overall, 8-10 in the GLVC. Wisconsin-Parkside is in sixth place in the GLVC standings and will be the No. 6 seed in the upcoming GLVC Tournament.
Senior forward/guard Quincey Moman averages 15.8 ppg and 4.8 rpg. Senior forward Brian Maastricht is scoring 10.5 ppg and leads the team in rebounding at 5.6 rpg.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST WISCONSIN-PARKSIDE: Earlier this season on Feb. 1, Quentin Smiths basket with 13.5 seconds remaining in the game lifted NKU to a 76-75 win over the Wisconsin-Parkside in Regents Hall.
Wisconsin-Parkside held a 75-74 lead when NKUs Brenden Stowers drove the lane and missed a twisting jumper. Smith, however, grabbed the offensive rebound and powered his way for a layup to give the Norse a 76-75 lead with 13.5 seconds left.
On the final possession of the game, Wisconsin-Parksides Brian Maastricht passed the ball underneath the basket to Glen Barlow with less than a second remaining. Barlows shot attempt, however, came after the buzzer sounded and his basket was not allowed.
NKU rallied from a 72-66 deficit with 2:49 remaining in the game behind the play of Smith (22 points, 14 rebounds), Stowers (25 points) and Bobby St-Preux, whose basket with 1:18 tied the score at 72-72. Dean Pogodzinski hit a three-pointer with 1:01 left to give Wisconsin-Parkside a 75-72 lead, but Stowers responded with a pair of free throws to bring NKU to within 75-74.
Quincey Moman committed a turnover with 29 seconds left, giving NKU its chance to win the game. The Norse are now 8-0 all-time against the Rangers in Regents Hall, and they lead the series, 12-4.
TOUGH PLACE TO PLAY: NKU has dropped three of its last four games on the road against Wisconsin-Parkside, including the past two years. Last season, the Rangers posted a 67-54 win over the Norse at Kenosha, Wis.
Two years ago, Wisconsin-Parkside handed NKU an 81-60 defeat at DeSimone Gymnasium.
ABOUT LEWIS: The Flyers are 20-5 overall, 13-5 in the GLVC. Lewis will play host to Bellarmine on Thursday.
Lewis features junior forward Monta McGhee, who averages 17.0 ppg and 8.5 rpg. Junior center/forward Austin Real is scoring 11.0 ppg, and senior guard Stan Strong averages 10.6 ppg. Two other Flyers - junior guard Demitrius Hunter (10.3 ppg) and junior forward Sidney Holmes (10.3 ppg) - also score in double figures. Lewis is unbeaten (13-0) at home this season.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST LEWIS: Earlier this season on Jan. 9, Brenden Stowers scored 20 points and dished out four assists as NKU defeated Lewis, 83-71, in Regents Hall.
Quentin Smith added 18 points and five rebounds for NKU. Lewis - which had won nine consecutive games entering that contest - led by as many as eight points in the first half before settling for a 35-34 advantage at the break. The Flyers held NKU to just 36.4 percent shooting from the field in the first half.
NKU used a 15-6 run at the start of the second half to build a 49-41 lead. Mike Kelsey, who scored 17 points, sparked the Norse spurt with a pair of three-pointers.
Bobby St-Preux also hit a three-pointer during the run, and he later brought the Regents Hall crowd to its feet with a monstrous tip-in dunk that extended NKUs lead to 57-48.
Kelseys three-pointer at the 7:10 mark gave the Norse a 72-57 lead, and Lewis would get no closer than nine points the remainder of the game. NKU connected on 60.7 percent of its shots from the field in the second half, and the Norse made all nine of their free throws in the final 20 minutes.
Chris Seabrooks added a double-double for the Norse with 11 points and 10 rebounds. St-Preux finished with nine points, four blocked shots and two assists for NKU.
NCAA PAIRINGS TO BE ANNOUNCED MARCH 10: Pairings for the mens NCAA Division II Tournament will be announced at 1 p.m. (EST) on Monday, March 10.
NKU was ranked No. 5 in last weeks NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region rankings, and the top eight teams will advance to the NCAA Tournament. The entire Great Lakes Region Tournament will be held at the site of the No. 1 seed, which figures to be either Kentucky Wesleyan or Michigan Tech.
Michigan Tech was ranked No. 1 in the poll last week, but the Huskies suffered a 42-40 loss at home against Grand Valley State. That loss, coupled with a pair of wins by Kentucky Wesleyan, could elevate the Panthers to the No. 1 position in this weeks poll.