Feb. 25, 2002


Norse (19-7) begin GLVC Tournament this Thursday

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University men’s basketball team is 19-7 after rallying for a 79-75 win over Quincy (Ill.) University on Saturday. The Norse finished with a 15-5 record in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and tied Lewis University for second place in the league standings.

NKU will be the No. 2 seed in the GLVC Tournament and meet No. 7 seed University of Wisconsin-Parkside at 1 p.m. (EST) this Thursday afternoon in Roberts Stadium at Evansville, Ind. The winner of that game will advance to the GLVC semifinals at 7 p.m. (EST) Friday to meet either No. 3 seed Lewis or No. 6 seed Bellarmine University.

The GLVC championship game is scheduled for 8 p.m. (EST) Saturday night.

Craig Sanders scored 22 points Saturday to lead NKU past Quincy. Carl Mitchell added 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots, and Darnell Fields finished with a double-double (12 points, 12 rebounds) for the Norse.

NKU rallied from a four-point deficit (71-67) in the final three minutes with a 12-4 run that was keyed by Mike Kelsey, who scored five points during the spurt. Kelsey hit a 15-foot jumper and a three-pointer during the NKU run.

A layup by Brenden Stowers with 2:17 remaining gave NKU a 74-73 lead. The Norse still held a 74-73 advantage with 14 seconds left when Sanders drilled a three-point shot to extend the lead to 77-73. Jackson Jones converted a layup with four seconds to slice the NKU lead to 77-75, but Sanders sealed the win by making two free throws. Sanders also extended his school-record streak of consecutive games in double figures to 46.

SANDERS FIVE POINTS FROM RECORD: Craig Sanders has 1,976 career points and needs five points to become NKU’s all-time scoring leader. Brady Jackson is currently No. 1 in Norse history with 1,980 points.

GLVC TOURNAMENT HISTORY: NKU is 4-4 all-time in the GLVC Tournament. Last season, NKU defeated Missouri-St. Louis, 82-72, in the first round. The Norse dropped an 84-67 decision to Kentucky Wesleyan in the semifinals.

Two years ago, NKU defeated IPFW in the first round, 96-65. The Norse lost to Southern Indiana, 100-89, in the GLVC semifinals.

Three years ago, the Norse defeated Indianapolis, 60-48, in the first round of the GLVC Tournament. NKU then lost to Kentucky Wesleyan, 111-70, in the GLVC semifinals.

Four years ago, NKU knocked off Indianapolis, 85-76, in the first round of the GLVC Tournament in Regents Hall. The Norse lost to Southern Indiana, 79-78, in the GLVC semifinals at Owensboro, Ky.

NKU has never advanced past the semifinal round of the GLVC Tournament.

IS 20 THE MAGIC NUMBER?: NKU is looking to win at least 20 games for the seventh time in the past eight seasons. The Norse need one win to reach the 20-victory plateau. The only time NKU has not won 20 games during the past seven years was in 1998-99, when the Norse finished 16-12. That is also the only time during the past seven years NKU did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

NKU appears to need two wins during the GLVC Tournament in order to earn a bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament. Five teams - Kentucky Wesleyan, Michigan Tech, Gannon (Pa.), Findlay and Hillsdale (Mich.) - all seem to have locked up NCAA bids. The top six teams in the NCAA II Great Lakes Region poll will advance to the NCAA Tournament.

ABOUT UW-PARKSIDE: The Rangers enter the GLVC Tournament with a 13-13 record. Wisconsin-Parkside is led by junior forward Quincey Moman, who averages 15.3 points per game. Senior point guard Marlon Grice is scoring 14.3 ppg and leads the Rangers with 109 assists.

THE LAST TIME AGAINST UW-PARKSIDE: Earlier this season on Jan. 10, Craig Sanders scored 20 points as NKU defeated Wisconsin-Parkside, 70-55, in Regents Hall.

Sanders scored 12 points in the first half as NKU built a 36-21 lead. The Norse held Wisconsin-Parkside to just 36.5 percent shooting from the field and led the entire game.

Bobby St-Preux finished with 13 points and nine rebounds for the Norse, who made 45.3 percent of their shots from the field. Brenden Stowers (11 points) and Mike Kelsey (10 points) also scored in double figures for NKU.

In their first meeting of the season on Nov. 26, Quincey Moman scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Wisconsin-Parkside to a 67-54 win over NKU at Kenosha, Wis. Marlon Grice added 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists. The Rangers shot 60.7 percent from the field in the second half to break open a close game and held the Norse to just 38.3 percent shooting from the field.

After Brenden Stowers completed a three-point play to cut the Wisconsin-Parkside lead to 57-52 with 3:03 remaining in the game, the Rangers sealed the win with a 10-2 run. Moman scored five points during the game-ending run for the Rangers.