Jan. 14, 2003
NKU TO MEET UM-ST. LOUIS ON THURSDAY
Norse also face tough game at Southern Indiana on Saturday
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team will hit the road this week for a pair of important Great Lakes Valley Conference games at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (8:45 p.m. Thursday) and the University of Southern Indiana (4:15 p.m. Saturday).
The broadcasts of both games can be heard live on WTSJ (1050 AM).
NKU is 13-2 after posting a 77-63 win over Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville on Saturday. The Norse - ranked No. 12 nationally in the NCAA Division II poll - are in first place in the GLVC with a 7-1 record.
Quentin Smith scored a career-high 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds Saturday to lead NKU past SIUE. Mike Kelsey added 15 points and three assists for the Norse.
SIUE held a 38-32 lead early in the second half, but NKU used a 13-3 run to take a 45-41 advantage. Bobby St-Preux and Chris Seabrooks each scored two baskets to key the Norse run.
St-Preuxs three-pointer gave NKU a 58-51 lead with 7:39 remaining, and the Norse sealed the victory by making nine free throws in the final 3 1/2 minutes. Smith hit six straight free throws late in the game as NKU held off the Cougars.
St-Preux finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots, while Brenden Stowers added 14 points. NKU held SIUE to 43.6 percent shooting from the field and won the rebounding battle by a 37-25 margin.
NKU EXTENDS REGENTS HALL STREAK: NKU has now won 17 consecutive games in Regents Hall. NKUs home winning streak is the fifth longest in the nation in Division II. The Norse have not lost in Regents Hall since Dec. 6, 2001, when Kentucky Wesleyan College posted a 64-62 win over NKU.
NORSE CONTINUE SIUE HEX: NKU has now beaten SIUE 14 consecutive times. NKU has not lost to SIUE since the 1991-92 season, when the Cougars posted a 97-90 win against the Norse in Edwardsville, Ill.
Q EARNS GLVC WEEKLY HONOR: NKU senior forward Quentin Smith has been named GLVC co-Player of the Week. Smith averaged 18.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and shot 54.2 percent from the field last week to lead the Norse to a pair of GLVC wins. He also was perfect (11-for-11) from the free throw line in the two victories last week.
Smith - who shared the GLVC weekly honor with Wisconsin-Parksides Quincey Moman - averages 12.8 points and a team-leading 7.5 rebounds per game, and he is shooting 53.3 percent from the field. Smith ranks No. 3 in the GLVC in rebounding.
REJECTION TIME: NKU senior forward Bobby St-Preux collected seven blocked shots during the Norse's two wins last week. St-Preux leads NKU with 18 blocked shots this season, and he ranks No. 3 in the GLVC (1.20 bpg) in that category.
ABOUT MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS: The Rivermen are 5-8 overall after dropping a 76-51 decision at Kentucky Wesleyan on Saturday. Missouri-St. Louis has lost five straight games and is 2-6 and in last place in the GLVC standings.
The Rivermen feature junior guard Ronnie Banks, who averages 11.7 ppg and leads the team with 51 assists. Banks has also made 26 of 59 three-point attempts. Freshman guard/forward Jonathan Griffin averages 11.1 ppg and leads the team in rebounding at 6.9 rpg.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS: Earlier this season on Dec. 2 in Regents Hall, Brenden Stowers scored 18 points as NKU defeated Missouri-St. Louis, 73-54. Quentin Smith added 13 points and eight rebounds for NKU, which shot 61.5 percent from the field in the second half to pull away from Missouri-St. Louis.
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 NKUs 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.
IN THE MARK TWAIN BUILDING: NKU owns a 4-2 record at the Mark Twain Building against Missouri-St. Louis since the Rivermen joined the GLVC.
SOUTHERN INDIANA UP NEXT: After playing Missouri-St. Louis, NKU will travel to Evansville, Ind., to meet Southern Indiana on Saturday. The Norse have dropped five straight games to Southern Indiana in the PAC Arena. NKU has not beaten Southern Indiana in Evansville since the 1996 NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region championship game.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST SOUTHERN INDIANA: On Jan. 24, 2002, Cris Brunson scored 19 points as Southern Indiana held off a late NKU rally to post a 99-90 victory over the Norse. Ronnie Griffin added 18 points and 16 rebounds as Southern Indiana posted its sixth straight win over the Norse at the PAC Arena.
Southern Indiana built a 15-point lead in the first half, but NKU battled back to take a 61-60 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the game. The Screaming Eagles, however, made 26 of 35 free throws and used a 44-33 rebounding advantage to defeat the Norse.
Brenden Stowers and Carl Mitchell each scored 20 points to lead NKU. Craig Sanders added 17 points for the Norse.