Feb. 5, 2001
NKU TO HOST SJC, IPFW THIS WEEK
Norse ranked No. 7 nationally in latest poll
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team is 19-3 after posting an 83-78 overtime victory over Lewis University on Saturday at Romeoville, Ill. The Norse are 10-3 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and tied for second place with Kentucky Wesleyan College in the GLVC standings.
NKU is ranked No. 7 nationally in the latest Division II poll. The Norse will play host to Saint Josephs College at 7:45 p.m. Thursday night. NKU will also play host to Indiana-Purdue University at Fort Wayne at 4:15 p.m. Saturday.
Craig Conley hit six free throws during the overtime period Saturday as NKU held off Lewis. Conley also recorded a triple-double (24 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds) for the Norse. Craig Sanders added 13 points as NKU won at the Neil Carey Arena for the first time since the 1996-97 season.
NKU built a 14-point lead with eight minutes remaining in regulation, but Lewis forced overtime when Josh Virostko hit a three-pointer in the final seconds. In overtime, Conley made all six of his free throw attempts as NKU recorded the road win.
The Norse need just one victory to reach the 20-win mark for the sixth time in the past seven years.
REGENTS HALL STREAK: NKU enters Thursday nights contest against Saint Josephs with a 25-game winning streak in Regents Hall. The last team to beat NKU in Regents Hall was the University of Indianapolis, which posted an 81-71 victory over the Norse on Feb. 9, 1999.
BY THE NUMBERS: NKU senior forward Adam Norwell ranks No. 2 in the GLVC in field goal percentage, making 66.4 percent of his attempts from the field. Norse senior guard Craig Conley is No. 3 in the GLVC in assists per game at 5.68. Conley is tied for No. 2 in the GLVC in steals per game at 2.23.
Junior forward Craig Sanders is No. 2 in three-pointers made per game (3.18) and No. 10 in scoring (15.9 points per game). NKU senior guard Brian Lawhon is No. 2 in three-point percentage (48.8 percent), and junior forward Carl Mitchell ranks No. 3 in blocked shots (1.55 bpg).
GLVC MENS TOURNAMENT TO START ON MARCH 1: The NKU mens basketball team will play its first GLVC Tournament game on Thursday, March 1, at Roberts Stadium in Evansville, Ind. The times and seeding for the GLVC Tournament will be announced on Feb. 25.
ABOUT SAINT JOSEPHS: The Pumas are 12-10 overall after defeating Southern Illinois at Edwardsville, 83-81, Saturday. Saint Josephs is 6-7 in the GLVC.
The Pumas are led by junior forward Brent Mason, who averages 18.8 points per game. Mason has also made 59 of 135 three-point attempts and he is shooting 93.8 percent from the free throw line. Sophomore guard Hodges Smith averages 14.4 ppg and has made 47 of 113 three-point attempts. Senior forward Brandon Yates is scoring 12.7 ppg and leads the team in rebounding at 6.9 rpg.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST SAINT JOSEPHS: Earlier this season on Jan. 13 at Rensselaer, Ind., Marvin Smith scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half - including a game-clinching layup with five seconds remaining - as Saint Josephs upset NKU, 83-79, at the Scharf Alumni Fieldhouse.
Saint Josephs held an 80-73 lead with 1:49 remaining in the game, but NKU responded with consecutive three-pointers by Craig Sanders and Todd Clark to cut the deficit to 80-79.
Jamie Holden made one free throw to give Saint Josephs an 81-79 lead with 45 seconds remaining, and NKU had a chance to tie the game. Clarks jump shot, however, was blocked by Brandon Yates and rebounded by Holden.
Holden missed the front end of the bonus, giving NKU one last chance to tie or take the lead. Smith, however, picked up a steal and scored on a layup with five seconds remaining to give the Pumas an 83-79 lead and their first win against NKU since 1994.
The Norse had won 12 consecutive games against Saint Josephs prior to that loss. Sanders led NKU with 22 points, and Carl Mitchell added 19 points. Clark had 18 points and six rebounds for the Norse, who made 13 of 26 three-point shots.
REGENTS HALL STREAK AGAINST THE PUMAS: Saint Josephs has not beaten NKU in Regents Hall since the 1990-91 season, when the Pumas edged the Norse by an 89-87 score. Since that defeat, NKU has ran off nine consecutive victories against Saint Josephs in Regents Hall.