Jan. 1, 2001
NKU (12-0) TO HOST SIUE ON THURSDAY
Norse also play at unbeaten Southern Indiana (9-0) on Saturday
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team is 12-0 after capturing the Porreco Cup championship last Saturday with an 89-86 win over Gannon (Pa.) University at Erie, Pa. The Norse are ranked No. 4 nationally in the Division II Bulletin poll and No. 1 in the Great Lakes Region poll.
NKU will play host to Great Lakes Valley Conference rival Southern Illinois at Edwardsville at 7:45 p.m. Thursday. The Norse will also travel to Evansville, Ind., Saturday night for an 8:30 p.m. showdown with third-ranked University of Southern Indiana (9-0, 3-0 GLVC).
Craig Sanders scored 32 points - making nine three-pointers - Saturday night to lead NKU past Gannon. After Gannons Josh Morgan hit a three-pointer with six seconds remaining to slice NKUs lead to 87-86, Sanders was fouled and made two free throws to give the Norse an 89-86 advantage.
Sanders earned All-Tournament honors, and teammate Craig Conley (19 points, eight assists) was named the tournaments most valuable player.
RECORD-TYING START: NKUs 12-0 start is the best since the 1996-97 season, when the Norse began the year with 12 consecutive victories. The streak was snapped at Owensboro, Ky., when Kentucky Wesleyan posted a 75-74 victory against the Norse.
If NKU defeats SIUE on Thursday, it will mark the best start in Norse mens basketball history.
REGENTS HALL STREAK: NKU enters Thursday night with a 22-game winning streak in Regents Hall. The Norse were unbeaten (14-0) last season at home. NKU is 6-0 this season 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.
GLVC HONOR: NKUs Carl Mitchell has been named GLVC Player of the Week. Mitchell, a native of Dothan, Ala., averaged 21.7 points per game while leading his team to three victories - including the championship of the Porreco Cup Tournament. A 6-foot-9 junior forward, Mitchell scored a career-high 28 points as NKU defeated Shawnee State on December 18.
He scored 37 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in two games as NKU defeated both Westminster (Pa.) and host Gannon to capture the Porreco Cup, played in Erie, Pa. Mitchell - who has been NKUs sixth man the past five games - averages 14.4 ppg, and he leads the team with 7.2 rebounds per contest. Mitchell also leads NKU with 21 blocked shots.
ABOUT SIUE: The Cougars are 4-5 after posting a 71-64 win over Oakland City University on Dec. 28. SIUE owns a 1-2 record in the GLVC.
SIUE is led by junior forward Tim Rose, who averages 14.5 ppg and 5.0 rebounds. Junior forward Marty Perry averages 11.8 ppg and 4.9 rebounds. Those two players are the team's only double-figure scorers.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST SIUE: On Feb. 24, 2000, at Edwardsville, Ill., Brian Lawhon scored 20 points as NKU defeated SIUE, 81-70, at the Vadalabene Center.
Scott Marston added 17 points for the Norse. NKU shot 69.6 percent from the field in the second half to break open a close game.
NKUS STREAK AGAINST SIUE: NKU owns 10 consecutive victories against SIUE going into Thursdays game. 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.
Since joining the GLVC, SIUE has gone 0-9 against NKU. The Norse are 4-0 against SIUE in the Vadalabene Center since the Cougars joined the GLVC. NKU is 5-0 against SIUE in Regents Hall since the Cougars started play in the GLVC.
SHOWDOWN AT USI SATURDAY: NKU will travel to Evansville, Ind., on Saturday for an 8:30 p.m. showdown with No. 3 Southern Indiana. The Screaming Eagles defeated NKU in two of three meetings last season, including a 100-89 victory against the Norse in the semifinals of the GLVC Tournament.
NKU has not beaten USI at the PAC Arena in Evansville since the 1995-96 season, when the Norse posted a 99-87 victory over the Screaming Eagles in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region championship game.