Jan. 15, 2002
NKU TO PLAY BU THIS SATURDAY
Norse (11-4) look to extend win streak to six games
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team is 11-4 after defeating Saint Josephs College, 90-85, in Regents Hall last Saturday. The Norse are 7-2 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and in sole possession of second place.
The Norse, who have now won five consecutive games, will meet Bellarmine University at 7:45 p.m. Saturday night in Regents Hall. The game will be televised live on ICN-6 Cable and can also be heard on WTSJ (AM 1050).
Craig Sanders scored 31 points and made two clutch free throws late in the game Saturday to lead NKU past Saint Josephs. NKU built a 17-point lead early in the first half, but Saint Josephs sliced the deficit to 48-38 at halftime. The Pumas used a 24-9 run in the second half to take a 70-68 lead with 9:48 remaining on a layup by Brent Mason.
Saint Josephs led by five points (84-79) with 3:29 left, but a pair of free throws from Mike Kelsey followed by a three-pointer by Brenden Stowers tied the game at 84-84. Stowers made a pair of free throws to give NKU an 86-84 lead with 1:36 remaining, and Sanders extended the advantage to 88-84 by making two free throws at the 1:28 mark.
Saint Josephs scored just one point during the final 3:29 of the game.
Carl Mitchell finished with 19 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots for NKU, which won despite shooting 32.3 percent from the field in the second half. Bobby St-Preux added 13 points and four blocked shots, and Stowers had 13 points.
STREAK AT 35 FOR SANDERS: Sanders has now scored in double figures in 35 consecutive games. The NKU record for consecutive games in double figures is 39 (held by Brady Jackson).
SANDERS PASSES 1,700 POINTS: Sanders enters Saturday with 1,748 points. The only other NKU players to reach 1,700 points are Brady Jackson (1,980 points), Richard Derkson (1,927), Dan Doellman (1,920) and LaRon Moore (1,866).
Sanders, who is No. 2 in the GLVC in scoring (19.3 points per game), needs 233 points to become NKUs all-time leading scorer.
DON'T TAKE IT INSIDE: NKU collected 10 blocked shots against Saint Josephs on Saturday. It marked the second time this season that the Norse have posted at least 10 blocks in a game (NKU had 11 against Kentucky Wesleyan on Dec. 6). Bobby St-Preux led NKU with four blocks against Saint Joseph's.
NKUs Carl Mitchell leads the GLVC in blocked shots with 33 (2.2 bpg). As a team, NKU has 63 rejections this season, compared to just 24 for the opposition.
ABOUT BELLARMINE: The Knights are 8-7 overall after posting a 71-53 win over the University of Wisconsin-Parkside on Saturday. Bellarmine, which will play at the University of Indianapolis on Thursday before meeting NKU, is 5-4 in the GLVC.
Bellarmine is led by senior guard Jared McCurry, who averages 15.2 ppg. McCurry has made 15 of 66 three-point attempts and he leads the team with 24 steals.
Sophomore forward Bruce Johnson, a transfer from Kentucky Wesleyan College, averages 13.6 ppg and 5.6 rebounds. Johnson has made 32 of 67 three-point attempts. Junior guard Brad Ayer is scoring 11.3 ppg and has made 23 of 70 three-point attempts.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST BELLARMINE: On Feb. 17, 2001, Craig Sanders scored 23 points as NKU defeated Bellarmine, 90-74, at Knights Hall in Louisville, Ky. Brenden Stowers added 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Norse, who made 12 of 26 three-point attempts and won the rebounding battle by a 40-29 margin.
Brian Lawhon made four three-point shots and added 13 points for NKU, and Todd Clark scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
In their first meeting of last season in Regents Hall, Clark scored 26 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Norse to a 100-69 win over Bellarmine. Clark made 10 of 11 shots from the field.
Brenden Stowers added 15 points for NKU, which built a 50-25 halftime lead and led by as many as 38 points in the second half.
STREAK AGAINST BELLARMINE: NKU has beaten Bellarmine 13 consecutive times dating back to the 1993-94 season. Bellarmines last victory against NKU came on Feb. 3, 1994, when the Knights escaped with a 73-72 win in Regents Hall. Steve Mercers layup with one second remaining gave Bellarmine the victory in that game.